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Title: Mercury human health risk assessment among Lebanese youth
Authors: Dhaini, Hassan
Obeid, Pierre J. 
Fares, Souha A
Farhat, Ghada N.
Khoury, Bilal El 
Nassif, Rana M 
Affiliations: Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences 
Department of Chemistry 
Department of Public Health 
Department of Chemistry 
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences 
Issue Date: 2016
Conference: European Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology (52nd : September 2016 : Seville, Spain) 
The use of mercury (Hg) in healthcare increases chances of human exposure, potentially leading to neurotoxicity and cardiovascular adverse effects. In Lebanon, the absence of a national waste management strategy is compounded by the lack of an Hg health risk assessment. This study aims at assessing Hg health risk to young adults, and identifying contributing exposure sources. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a random sample of 166 young adults attending a private institution of higher education in two regions of Lebanon. Participants answered a questionnaire and provided a hair sample. Risk assessment was performed (1) using the USEPA Hazard Quotient (HQ) model based on fish intake and local fish Hg levels, and (2) by determining total hair Hg levels using continuous flow-chemical vapor generation atomic absorption spectrometry. ANOVA was conducted to test for differences in hair Hg levels across demographic and exposure subgroups, and Pearson's r was computed for correlation between hair Hg levels, fish intake, and HQ. Results show that 19% of participants exceeded the 1 μg/g USEPA hair Hg limit (Median: 0.65; Range: 0.01–2.33 μg/g), and 61% had an HQ > 1. Higher hair Hg levels correlated with higher consumption of Shrimp (r = 0.23; p = 0.003) and Marbled Spinefoot (r = 0.27; p = 0.001), and geographical location (p < 0.001); these variables remained significant predictors of hair Hg levels in a multivariate linear regression model. In addition, HQ positively correlated with hair Hg levels (r = 0.15; p = 0.049). In conclusion, fish consumption contributes to Hg health risks among youth. Our findings may be useful for monitoring and intervention.
Type: Conference Presentation
Appears in Collections:Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences

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