Lung Function Assessment as an Early Biomonitor of Mercury-Induced Health Disorders in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Areas in Indonesia.

A new interesting article has been published in Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Nov 7;15(11). pii: E2480. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112480. and titled:

Lung Function Assessment as an Early Biomonitor of Mercury-Induced Health Disorders in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Areas in Indonesia.

Authors of this article are:

Pateda SM, Sakakibara M,, Sera K.

A summary of the article is shown below:

The evaluation of mercury impact on humans is currently nonspecific because the body characteristics (homeostasis) of each human being varies. Therefore, in the early diagnosis of mercury toxicity, one of the most important monitoring parameters is the respiratory function examination. In this study, respiratory function was examined with a portable spirometer and correlated with the mercury levels in hair from the noses and heads of subjects. Samples were taken from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) areas (villages of East Tulabolo and Dunggilata) and control areas (villages of Bongo and Longalo) in Gorontalo Province, Indonesia. A statistical analysis with the Mann⁻Whitney test (alternative) showed significant differences in lung function between the polluted and control areas (α = 0.03). The analysis of nasal and head hair samples with particle-induced X-ray emissions (PIXE) showed that the mercury levels in the ASGM area were considerably higher than in the more homogeneous control areas. This study confirms that a pulmonary function test is a quick and precise alternative way to monitor the impact of mercury on humans, especially atmospheric mercury, because we detected a negative correlation between pulmonary function and the level of mercury in hair.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:

ASGM;Gorontalo;biomonitor;mercury;spirometry

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