Assessing mercury contamiantion in the Amazon
3.7.4. Predicted mercury concentrations in humans
In order to use the single-compartment model human populations must be in a steady state with regards to methylmercury. I assume that this is the case. The interconversion between mercury in fish and mercury in human hair was done as summarized by WHO (1990).
Hg daily intake (µg) = daily fish consumption (g) x Hg conc. in fish (equation 1)
Interestingly, predicted mercury concentrations in humans from both rivers are similar to observed vales (Table 4). This is further indication that methylmercury exposure in ribeirinhos is through the ingestion of methylmercury-contaminated fish. The results also suggest that methylmercury concentrations in fish could be used to assess human exposure and thus human health risks to methylmercury.