Metal Concentrations in Blood and Hair in Pregnant Females in Southern Sweden

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The study described here was comprised of 100 pregnant females from two prenatal care units at the cities of Hassleholm and Simrishamn in southern Sweden. It included a questionnaire as well as whole blood (total mercury, cadmium, and lead) and hair (total mercury) sampling (collection period 2002–2003). The median values of total mercury (B-Hg 0.70 µg/L; range 0.27–2.1 µg/L), cadmium (0.30 µg/L, 0.05–4.8 µg/L) and lead (11.0 µg/L, 4.2–79 µg/L) in whole blood were low in the total material, as were the hair mercury concentrations (Hair-Hg 0.22 µg/g, 0.04–0.83 µg/g). In a multiple linear regression model, B-Hg was related to the number of fish meals per week and to the number of occlusal amalgam fillings (multiple r = 0.51; p < .001). The levels of mercury, cadmium, and lead in whole blood were lower than suggested biological reference intervals, and did not indicate risks for adverse health effects.

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