28 Sep '11, 12pm

Mercury in fish harms immune system. — Environmental Health News

Mercury in fish harms immune system. — Environmental Health News

What did they do? Researchers measured methylmercury, selenium and different immune factors in more than 200 adults living next to the Tapajós River in the Brazilian Amazon. The residents in this region who do not work directly in gold mining are exposed to mercury mainly from eating fish. Methylmercury and selenium were measured in the blood, hair and urine. Selenium was measured to see if it altered the immune response to mercury. Their concentrations were compared to levels of a variety of immune factors in the blood. The scientists measured two immune system factors – known as autoantibodies – that fight the body’s own cells and indicate autoimmune diseases. They also measured eight cytokines, which circulate throughout the body and indicate inflammatory responses. Personal information, health problems and job history were self-reported through questionnaires. What did...

Full article: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/201...

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