Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Environmental exposure and fingernail analysis of arsenic and mercury in children and adults in a Nicaraguan gold mining community.

Authors: Wickre, Joel B; Folt, Carol L; Sturup, Stefan; Karagas, Margaret R

Published In Arch Environ Health, (2004 Aug)

Abstract: Gold mining can release contaminants, including mercury, into the environment, and may increase exposure to naturally occurring elements such as arsenic. The authors investigated environmental and human tissue concentrations of arsenic and mercury in the gold mining town of Siuna, Nicaragua. The study involved 49 randomly selected households in Siuna, from whom a questionnaire along with environmental and fingernail samples were collected. Environmental samples indicated that mercury concentrations in drinking water, although generally low, were higher near the mine site. Arsenic concentrations were elevated in water and soil samples, but their distribution was unrelated to the mining site. Mercury concentrations in fingernail samples were correlated with residential proximity to the mine, drinking water concentrations, occupation, and, among children, with soil concentrations. Fingernail arsenic concentrations correlated with drinking water concentrations among adults who consumed higher levels, and with soil concentrations among children. Fingernail analysis helped to identify differential exposure pathways in children and adults. Mercury and arsenic uptake via soil exposure in children warrants further consideration.

PubMed ID: 16268116 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Arsenic/analysis*; Child; Child, Preschool; Environmental Exposure*; Female; Gold; Health Surveys; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Male; Mercury/analysis*; Middle Aged; Mining*; Nails/chemistry; Nicaragua; Rural Population; Soil Pollutants/analysis; Water Supply

Back
to Top