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Biomonitoring of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in Michigan urban anglers and association with fish consumption
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    31257185
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6705116
  • Description:
    The 32-mile Detroit River and surrounding tributaries have been designated as a Great Lakes Area of Concern due to pollution from decades of municipal and industrial discharges, sewer overflows and urban development. Key pollutants in fish samples from the Detroit River include mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), dioxins and furans. A biomonitoring study was conducted to assess exposures to these persistent toxic substances in Detroit urban shoreline anglers who may be at high exposure risk due to consumption of locally caught fish. Using a modified venue-based sampling approach, 287 adult shoreline anglers along the Detroit River were recruited and participated in the program. Study participants provided blood and urine specimens and completed a questionnaire following informed consent. We examined percentile estimates for total blood mercury, PCBs, DDE, and dioxin-like total toxic equivalency (TEQ) concentrations among study participants. Multiple linear regression was used to identify important predictors of contaminant concentrations. Participants consumed a median of 64 Detroit River caught fish meals in the past year. The Detroit urban anglers' median total blood mercury concentrations was 3.2 times higher than that for the general adult U.S. population. PCB concentrations among the Detroit anglers aged 18-39 years were higher than the U.S. population of the same race/ethnicity. Elevated levels of DDE and total TEQ concentrations were not observed in the cohort. Eating more locally caught fish was associated with higher total blood mercury and serum PCB concentrations. The biomonitoring data served to inform public health officials and help guide environmental public health actions to reduce harmful exposures.

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