Open Access Review Article

Assessment of the Dependence of Mercury Intake into the Human Body on the Peculiarities of the Human Diet. Estimation of Intake of Small and Ultra-Low Doses of Mercury in the Human Body with Food

AV Gorbunov1, SM Lyapunov1, MV Frontasyeva2*, and SS Pavlov2

1Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation

2Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russian Federation

Corresponding Author

Received Date: September 29, 2020;  Published Date: October 29, 2020


The purpose of this work was to estimate the amount of mercury intake in the human body when consuming the most common food products. The samples were taken on the territory of Russia without reference to the manufacturer in accordance with the principle of random sampling. Samples of basic foodstuffs, agricultural products, freshwater and marine fish were taken. Freshwater fish were caught throughout the Volga River, and samples of the main commercial fish species were selected. The analysis was carried out by instrumental neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometry with “cold steam”. Based on this analysis, food products with the highest and lowest concentrations of mercury were identified. The amount of food consumed by a person at different income levels, and on average for the regions of Russia, was estimated. The daily intake of mercury into the human body with different diets was calculated and it was shown that 50-60% of the total mercury comes from fish consumption. The accumulation of mercury in the muscles of fish caught in the upper and middle reaches, and delta of the Volga River was estimated. The features of mercury accumulation in the muscles of pike, perch and bream were revealed. A comparison of the actual intake of mercury in the human body with a safe daily dose according to FAO and who, which showed that the intake of mercury during food consumption in Russia is within physiologically safe limits. At the same time, a constant and characteristic intake of ultra-low doses of mercury for the entire population of Russia has been identified, the long-term consequences of which have not been practically studied.

Keywords: Mercury; Ultra-low doses; Food; Diets; Freshwater and marine fish; Accumulation features; Human body; Intake

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