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Química Nova

Print version ISSN 0100-4042

Abstract

MOREIRA, Josino C. et al. Is the presence of mercury at home a risk of human and / or environmental contamination? A case report. Quím. Nova [online]. 1997, vol.20, n.4, pp. 420-422. ISSN 0100-4042.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-40421997000400013.

Mercury kept in a garage of a residencial building in Rio de Janeiro was accidentally released and caused local (environmental and human) contamination. The concentration of mercury in indoor air of the most critical site reached 15.5 mg/m3. Outdoor air samples showed concentrations ranging from 0.37 to 6.6 mg/m3 . Seventy five per cent of the urine samples collected from 22 residents in the contaminated building showed levels of mercury higher than those observed in non exposed individuals (>6.9 mg/L); in 30% of these samples, the concentration was higher than 20 mg/L. These values show a high level of human contamination and the final consequences were not so serious owing to the quick action taken by one of the residents.

Keywords : mercury contamination; human contamination; environmental contamination.

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