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Study finds Caribbean-American women at higher risk for elevated mercury levels
Date:2/17/2012

A new study published by researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center's School of Public Health assesses mercury levels in pregnant women and examines dietary and environmental sources of exposure to mercury. The research, which focuses on an urban immigrant community, examined risk factors that may be associated with elevated mercury levels, measured through urine and cord blood samples. The study, published this month in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring, found that foreign-born immigrant women from the Caribbean are at higher risk for elevated levels of mercury in the blood, predominantly from dietary sources such as large fish. The full article is available at http://xlink.rsc.org/?doi=C2EM10835F

Laura Geer, PhD, MHS, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate's School of Public Health, and Patrick J. Parsons, PhD, chief of the Laboratory of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, were the main collaborators on the study, "Assessment of Prenatal Mercury Exposure in a Predominately Caribbean Immigrant Community in Brooklyn, NY." The study can be read in the journal's online edition at (To Come). The School of Public Health at SUNY's University at Albany, where Dr. Parsons is professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, also contributed to the study, which was also conducted in collaboration with SUNY Downstate's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The research was sponsored by The New York Community Trust.

The study elaborates on previously identified risk factors of in utero mercury exposure. Mercury exposure is a continuing concern in immigrant communities due to risk factors such as maternal country of origin, fish consumption, and ritualistic use of elemental mercury in religious ceremonies. For infants and children, the primary
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Contact: Ron Najman
ron.najman@downstate.edu
718-270-2696
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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