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Jornal da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

On-line version ISSN 2179-6491

Abstract

DUTRA, Marilene Danieli Simões et al. Hearing thresholds in children exposed to mercury in the prenatal period. J. Soc. Bras. Fonoaudiol. [online]. 2012, vol.24, n.4, pp.322-326. ISSN 2179-6491.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S2179-64912012000400006.

PURPOSE: To evaluate hearing thresholds in children with a history of exposure to mercury during the prenatal period. METHODS: Participants were 90 children of both genders with ages from 8 to 10 years, divided into two groups according to prenatal mercury exposure levels. The study group was composed by 57 children who had mercury levels in the umbilical cord equal or above 8 µg/L, and the comparison group comprised 33 children who had mercury levels in the umbilical cord below 8 µg/L. Investigation procedures included the application of a questionnaire, pure-tone audiometry, speech reception threshold, and mercury level analysis in cord blood collected at birth. RESULTS: The study group showed a median mercury level in the umbilical cord of 14.63 µg/L, and the median threshold for 500 Hz, 1 kHz and 2 kHz in pure-tone audiometry was 10 dB for both ears. The comparison group had a median cord blood mercury level of 4.88 µg/L, and the median threshold for 500 Hz, 1 kHz and 2 kHz in pure-tone audiometry was 10 dB for both ears. When the hearing thresholds were compared, both by the tritonal mean and by each frequency separately, there were no significant differences between groups. CONCLUSION: The children had hearing thresholds within normal limits and there was no significant difference between the hearing thresholds of children exposed and not exposed prenatally to mercury.

Keywords : Audiometry; Mercury poisoning; Mercury; Child; Prenatal care.

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