Monitoring methylmercury during pregnancy: Maternal hair predicts fetal brain exposure

E. Cernichiari, R. Brewer, G. J. Myers, D. O. Marsh, L. W. Lapham, C. Cox, C. F. Shamlaye, M. Berlin, P. W. Davidson, T. W. Clarkson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Autopsy brains were obtained from infants dying from a variety of causes within a few days of birth in a population exposed to methylmercury in fish. Infant and maternal blood and hair samples were also obtained. The concentration of total mercury in 6 major brain regions were highly correlated with maternal hair levels. This correlation was confirmed by a sequence of comparisons of maternal hair to maternal blood to infant blood and finally to infant brain. The results lend support to the use of maternal hair in assessing fetal exposure to methylmercury in fish-eating populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-709
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • fetal brain
  • maternal hair
  • methylmercury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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