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Title: Mercury health risk assessment among a young adult Lebanese population
Authors: Obeid, Pierre J. 
Fares, Souha A
Farhat, Ghada N.
Khoury, Bilal El 
Nassif, Rana M 
Nakat, John El
Dhaini, Hassan
Affiliations: Department of Chemistry 
Department of Public Health 
Department of Chemistry 
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences 
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences 
Keywords: Mercury
Hair mercury concentrations
Fish consumption
Lebanese youth
Subjects: Risk assessment
Issue Date: 2017
Part of: Journal of environmental science and pollution research
Volume: 24
Issue: 10
Start page: 9370
End page: 9378
Mercury (Hg) exposure represents a significant public health concern at a global level. This study aims at assessing Hg exposure and risk among Lebanese young adults based on Hg biomonitoring and seafood intake. A group of 166 young adults were administered a questionnaire to assess Hg exposure and were asked to provide a hair sample. Risk assessment was performed: (1) using the US Environmental Protection Agency Hazard Quotient (HQ) model based on fish intake and previously studied local fish Hg concentrations, and (2) by determining the total hair Hg concentration (THHg) using continuous flow-chemical vapor generation atomic absorption spectrometry. Differences in THHg across demographic and exposure subgroups were tested using t test or ANOVA. Correlations between THHg concentrations, fish consumption, and HQ were determined by computing Pearsons r. Higher THHg correlated with higher consumption of Mediterranean rabbitfish/spinefoots (r = 0.27; p = 0.001) and geographical location (p < 0.001) in the bivariate analysis, and remained significant in the adjusted multivariable linear regression model (geographical location: ß = 0.255, 95%CI 0.121–0.388; rabbitfish/spinefoots consumption: ß = 0.016, 95%CI 0.004–0.027). No significant correlations were found between HQ and THHg. In conclusion, this is the first study examining hair Hg levels and fish consumption in a young adult Lebanese population. Our findings constitute valuable baseline data for a local fish advisory and Hg monitoring.
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Chemistry

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