TitleStable Mercury Isotopes in Polished Rice (Oryza sativa L.) and Hair from Rice Consumers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRothenberg, SE, Yin, R, Hurley, JP, Krabbenhoft, DP, Ismawati, Y, Hong, C, Donohue, A
JournalEnviron Sci Technol
Date Published2017 Jun 06
KeywordsAnimals, China, Environmental Monitoring, Food Contamination, Hair, Humans, Indonesia, Mercury, Mercury Isotopes, Methylmercury Compounds, Oryza

Mercury (Hg) isotopic signatures were characterized in polished rice samples from China, U.S., and Indonesia (n = 45). Hg isotopes were also analyzed in paired hair samples for participants from China (n = 21). For the latter, we also quantified the proportion of methylmercury intake through rice (range: 31-100%), and the weekly servings of fish meals (range: 0-5.6 servings/weekly). For these participants, 29% (n = 6) never ingested fish, 52% (n = 11) ingested fish < twice/weekly, and 19% (n = 4) ingested fish ≥ twice/weekly. In rice and hair, both mass-dependent fractionation (MDF, reported as δHg) and mass-independent fractionation (MIF, reported as ΔHg) of Hg isotopes were observed. Compared to rice, hair δHg values were enriched on average (±1 standard deviation) by 1.9 ± 0.61‰, although the range was wide (range: 0.45‰, 3.0‰). Hair ΔHg was significantly inversely associated with %methylmercury intake from rice (Spearman's rho = -0.61, p < 0.01, n = 21), i.e., as the proportion of methylmercury intake from rice increased, MIF decreased. Additionally, hair ΔHg was significantly higher for participants ingesting fish ≥ twice/weekly compared to those who did not ingest fish or ingested fish < twice/weekly (ANOVA, p < 0.05, n = 21); Overall, results suggest that Hg isotopes (especially MIF) in human hair can be used to distinguish methylmercury intake from rice versus fish.

Alternate JournalEnviron. Sci. Technol.
PubMed ID28482656
PubMed Central IDPMC5464010
Grant ListL30 ES023165 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
R15 ES022409 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
R21 ES026412 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States