Human-biomonitoring and individual soil measurements for children and mothers in an area with recently detected mercury-contaminations and public health concerns: a cross-sectional study

In this study, we assessed intracorporal mercury concentrations in subjects living on partially mercury-contaminated soils in a defined area in Switzerland. We assessed 64 mothers and 107 children who resided in a defined area for at least 3 months. Mercury in biological samples (urine and hair) was measured, a detailed questionnaire was administered for each individual, and individual mercury soil values were obtained. Human biomonitoring results were compared with health-related and reference values. Mothers and children in our study had geometric means (GMs) of 0.22 µg Hg/g creatinine in urine (95th percentile (P95) = 0.85 µg Hg/g) and 0.16 µg Hg/g (P95 = 0.56 µg Hg/g), respectively. In hair, mothers and children had GMs of 0.21 µg Hg/g (P95 = 0.94 µg/g) and 0.18 µg/g (P95 = 0.60 µg/g), respectively. We found no evidence for an association between mercury values in soil and those in human specimens nor for a health threat in residential mothers and children.