Exposure to heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) and its effect on the outcome of in-vitro fertilization treatment.

Biological and Medical Research Department, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, P.O. Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 3.28). 10/2008; 211(5-6):560-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2007.09.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the effect of lead, cadmium and mercury exposure on pregnancy and fertilization rate outcome among 619 Saudi women (age 19-50 years) who sought in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment between 2002 and 2003. The concentrations of lead, cadmium and mercury were measured in both blood and follicular fluids. At levels well below the current US occupational exposure limit guidelines (40microg/dL) and even less than the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention level of concern for preventing lead poisoning in children (10microg/dL), blood lead level was negatively associated with fertilization outcome in both adjusted and unadjusted logistic regression models. We found that among various demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors, fish consumption was positively associated with blood lead levels. These results support the hypothesis that a raised blood lead level affects infertility and intervention to reduce the lead exposure might be needed for women of reproductive age. The present results also revealed unexpected finding - the positive relationship between follicular cadmium levels and fertilization outcome, which points to the necessity for further investigation. Though adverse effect of mercury on pregnancy outcome or fertilization rate was not evident in this study, mercury5.8microg/L (EPA safety limit) was found in the blood and follicular fluid of 18.7% and 8.3% of the women, respectively. Concerns about its possible adverse effects on the physiology of reproduction or fetal development cannot be ruled out. It should be noted that skin-lightening creams and dental amalgam were important contributors to mercury exposure. Such finding is alarming and priority for further studies are, urgently, needed.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine biomarkers of methylmercury (MeHg) intake in women and infants from seafood-consuming populations globally and characterize the comparative risk of fetal developmental neurotoxicity. A search was conducted of the published literature reporting total mercury (Hg) in hair and blood in women and infants. These biomarkers are validated proxy measures of MeHg, a neurotoxin found primarily in seafood. Average and high-end biomarkers were extracted, stratified by seafood consumption context, and pooled by category. Medians for average and high-end pooled distributions were compared with the reference level established by a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Selection criteria were met by 164 studies of women and infants from 43 countries. Pooled average biomarkers suggest an intake of MeHg several times over the FAO/WHO reference in fish-consuming riparians living near small-scale gold mining and well over the reference in consumers of marine mammals in Arctic regions. In coastal regions of south-eastern Asia, the western Pacific and the Mediterranean, average biomarkers approach the reference. Although the two former groups have a higher risk of neurotoxicity than the latter, coastal regions are home to the largest number at risk. High-end biomarkers across all categories indicate MeHg intake is in excess of the reference value. There is a need for policies to reduce Hg exposure among women and infants and for surveillance in high-risk populations, the majority of which live in low-and middle-income countries.
    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 04/2014; 92(4):254-269F. · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Yunnan region of China produces a distinctive variety of Pu'er tea, which is consequently labeled as a Chinese geographic indication product. In this study, the safety of Chinese Yunnan Pu'er tea with regard to heavy metal content was evaluated in 30 different brands of Pu'er tea, including 150 commercial samples. Metal levels in the Pu'er tea samples followed the order: copper (12-22 µg/g) > lead (0.26-3.2 µg/g) > arsenic (0.035-0.24 µg/g) > cadmium (0.0059-0.085 µg/g) > mercury (<0.010 µg/g). Mercury was not detected in 17 of the brands of Pu'er tea. Metal-to-metal correlation studies showed that there were no significant correlation between metal pairs. Based on current safety standards, the low levels of metals detected in these Pu'er tea samples mean they are safe for human consumption.
    Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B Surveillance 03/2011; 4(1):28-33.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is limited research examining the chemical load of toxic metals in the elderly. The aim of the present study was to determine the body burden of lead, cadmium and mercury in association with age, gender, locality, lifestyle factors and potential health impacts among this population and to compare the values with blood values from the general Czech population aged 18 - 64years.
    Experimental Gerontology 07/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor


Available from