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Speciation and isotopic analyses of mercury (Hg) detected at high concentration (11-107 mg total Hg/kg) in the hair samples of Pakistani subjects were carried out to analyze whether the source of Hg was the skin cream or the soap they used. Liquid chromatography-ICP mass spectrometric speciation analysis revealed that the Hg in the hair was primarily inorganic. This result supported our assumption that skin care products were the source of the high concentration of Hg in hair, which was based on the statistical association found in our previous study because it is known that inorganic Hg compounds are added to some skin care products sold in some countries. Stable isotope ratios of the Hg in the hair samples of 6 subjects and 3 skin cream samples, which were reported to be used by the subjects, were measured by multi-collector ICP mass spectrometry after acid digestion. A comparison of the isotopic compositions of Hg in hair and skin cream in two subjects revealed that the composition in both samples matched in one subject, hence confirming that the products were the source of high Hg concentration in hair. However, the isotopic compositions of Hg in hair and skin cream did not match in the other subject demonstrating the presence of other exposure source(s).
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Stable mercury atoms that have the same atomic number as the element mercury, but differ in atomic weight. Hg-196, 198-201, and 204 are stable mercury isotopes.
Poisoning that results from chronic or acute ingestion, injection, inhalation, or skin absorption of MERCURY or MERCURY COMPOUNDS.
Unstable isotopes of mercury that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Hg atoms with atomic weights 185-195, 197, 203, 205, and 206 are radioactive mercury isotopes.
A silver metallic element that exists as a liquid at room temperature. It has the atomic symbol Hg (from hydrargyrum, liquid silver), atomic number 80, and atomic weight 200.59. Mercury is used in many industrial applications and its salts have been employed therapeutically as purgatives, antisyphilitics, disinfectants, and astringents. It can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes which leads to MERCURY POISONING. Because of its toxicity, the clinical use of mercury and mercurials is diminishing.
Concentration or quantity that is derived from the smallest measure that can be detected with reasonable certainty for a given analytical procedure.
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