Safe level of mercury in soil, water and food

Following are verbatim from book chapter ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096006/ ) .

Air

The World Health Organization guideline value for inorganic mercury vapor is 1 μg/m3 as an annual average.227 A tolerable concentration is 0.2 μg/m3 for long-term inhalation exposure to elemental mercury vapor, and a tolerable intake of total mercury is 2 μg/kg body weight per day.70

Fish

Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Codex Alimentarius—Commission guideline levels for methylmercury in fish 0.5 mg/kg for predatory fish (such as shark, swordfish, tuna, pike and others) is 1 mg/kg.228

Food

For methylmercury, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) set in 2004 a tolerable weekly intake of 1.6 μg/kg body weight per week to protect the developing fetus from neurotoxic effects.229 JEFCA230 confirmed this provisional tolerable weekly intake level, taking into account that adults might not be as sensitive as the developing fetus, in 2003 (JECFA/61/SC http://www.who.int/ipcs/food/jecfa/summaries/en/summary_61.pdf) and 2006 (JECFA/67/SC http://www.who.int/ipcs/food/jecfa/summaries/summary67.pdf).231,232

Soil

United Nations Environment Programme Global Mercury Assessment quotes for soil, preliminary critical limits to prevent ecological effects due to mercury in organic soils with 0.07-0.3 mg/kg for the total mercury content in soil.4

 

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About Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
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