Intake of predatory fish in Amazonia is a driver of toxicological risk for susceptible exposure groups
1 Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, National School of Public Health, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
2 Instituto Fernando Figueira - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
3 Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
4 Santo Antonio Energia
5 Federal University of Rondonia, Department of Geochemistry
High fish intake has marked the scenario of riparian communities in Amazon basin during the last three decades. Although efforts have been done by some national and international scientific groups to control mercury exposure in Brazilian Amazon, the problem persists. The return of artisan gold mining, the new hydroelectric power plants (with its reservoirs) and the expansion of the agribusiness are some of the economic activities that may contribute to the increment of mercury load in the Amazon ecosystem with direct influence in the food chain. These changes in Amazon scenario increase complexity of environmental issue and mercury may become a threat for susceptible exposure groups. This study evaluated mercury exposure scenarios for susceptible groups around the hydroelectric plant to calculate toxicological risk before damming. During the period of 2009 to 2011, about 771 children under 16 years age and 276 female in reproductive age (from 16 to 40 years old) were assessed. Besides, regular fish samples (n=1580) were collected for total mercury determination. The mercury concentration in fish ranged from 0.01 to 6.06 mg/kg. For the current scenario the toxicological risk ranged from 3.5 to 24 for mercury for the susceptible groups. Regarding the critical scenario after 3 years flooding, the area is expected to double the risk for the same group, especially for the communities downstream, which may represent a critical situation.
Key words: mercury / fish-eating communities / fish consumption / risk to health / Brazilian Amazon
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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