Ami Tsuchiya

Project title: Fish Consumption and Mercury Exposure Among Japanese Women Living in the Puget Sound Area

Degree: MS | Program: Environmental Toxicology (Tox) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2006 | Faculty advisor: Thomas M. Burbacher


Sources of mercury in the environment are both natural and anthropogenic. Mercury exists in three forms: elemental, organic, and inorganic. Methylmercury, an organic form found in fish, is known to cause the most severe effects in humans. Since the focus of this paper is to examine the exposure of mercury from fish in consumption, this chapter focuses on the sources, chemical properties, toxicokinetics, health effects, biomarkers, and the exposure prevalence of methylmercury.

Mercury in the environment comes from both natural and anthropogenic sources. The majority of anthropogenic emissions come from coal-fired utilities and industrial commercial boilers and chlorine manufacturing. Estimates of Hg deposition due to anthropogenic sources range from 25% (WHO) to 50% (EPA)(2000).

The most prominent non-occupational source of mercury to humans who consume fish is from the consumption of fish (NRC 2000) although humans are exposed to all forms of mercury by breathing the ambient air, drinking water, eating food, having dental amalgams and medical treatments.

Taken from the beginning of thesis.