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Most comprehensive study of mercury in dental fillings begins
Date:9/13/2007

ainst orders not to eat it, the seed was ground and eaten. Thousands of people became ill. Much of the grain was dumped in ditches and beside rivers after it was pinpointed as the cause of the poisoning. From there, it entered the food chain again through poisoned fish and birds. As many as 20,000 people were poisoned and half of those died. The team at the University of Rochester Medical Center, including Gary Myers, M.D., a pediatric neurologist and a senior member of the team of researchers studying Seychelles, began its studies of mercury with this tragedy.

The two incidents together showed that levels of exposure that had little or no effect on a mother can seriously damage her fetuss developing brain and they inspired the University of Rochester team to find the ideal population to study prenatal exposure to mercury. The team chose Seychelles for two main reasons the fish consumed there have an average level of mercury and mothers eat 12 meals of fish each week (much higher than the average American). Since 1989, 779 children have been followed and no adverse effects on developmental outcomes were attributed to prenatal exposure to mercury in seafood. Studies on these and other children in Seychelles are ongoing.


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Contact: Heather Hare
heather_hare@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-2840
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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