Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1993;19(5):334-341    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1466

Urinary mercury excretion in chloralkali workers after the cessation of exposure.

by Ellingsen DG, Thomassen Y, Langard S, Kjuus H

Seventeen former chloralkali workers were followed through the regular determination of urinary mercury for nearly two years after the cessation of exposure to mercury vapor in a study of the time course of urinary mercury elimination. Their duration of exposure ranged from 3 d to 35.5 years. A one-compartment model for urinary mercury elimination was applied. The urinary mercury concentration declined at a rate indicating a half-time of 91 d. When corrected for an individual base-line level of urinary mercury resulting from sources of mercury intake not related to work, the half-time was 72.4 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 63.2-81.7] d, with a mean elimination rate constant of 0.011 (95% CI 0.008-0.013).d-1. The day-to-day variability of the urinary mercury concentration averaged 22%, expressed as the coefficient of variation between urine samples delivered on three consecutive days.