Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 54 Issue 2
Mercury levels in hair of fish consumers along Ulhas River Estuary and ThaneCreek, Maharashtra, India.
Jayashree Satheesh Menon and Sarita Vishwas Mahajan1\doi: 10.6024/jmbai.2012.54.2.01695-02
Waters and fish of Ulhas River Estuary (73°14’E, 19°14’N to 72° 54’E, 19°17’N) and Thane creek (72°55’ E, 19°N to 73° E,19°15’N) are contaminated with mercury, a potent neurotoxin causing health hazards in humans. The fish-consumers residing along the banks of these water bodies are therefore continuously exposed to mercury. A study to evaluate mercury exposure levels of these populations was carried out by analyzing mercury levels in their hair samples. Among the study areas, the population of reference site, Khadavli, showed values below the detection limit whereas Alimgarh and Diwe-Kewni populations had mean hair mercury of 8.87 μg/g and 9.017 μg/g respectively. Wehele, Vittawa and Airoli populations had comparatively lower levels of hair mercury with an average of 6.7 μg/g, 4.84 μg/g and 5.37 μg/g respectively. The proposed safety limit of 10 μg /g in hair was exceeded by 20.37%, 34.72% and 1.96% of the populations of Alimgarh, Diwe-Kewni and Wehele respectively. The entire populations of Vittawa and Airoli were within this safety limit. As 5-10 μg/g hair Hg levels has been associated with neurobehavioral disturbances and psychomotor defects in adults, percentage of such population was determined and the results indicated that continuous monitoring in these areas is required.
mercury, Thane creek, Ulhas River Estuary, hair, fish,population, exposure assessment.
Date : 14-02-2013