The main effects of mercury affect the central nervous system and renal function. Over recent years the scientific community has reported an increase in cardiovascular risk following exposure to mercury, “although the mechanisms responsible for this increase are not completely known”, state the authors of the new study that has been published recently in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology explain.
Ana María Briones is a researcher at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid (UAM) and is one of the authors of the study. Briones explains the aim of the investigation to SINC: “Because the relationship between mercury and cardiovascular risk has been explained recently, and that cardiovascular risk is known to be related to changes in vascular function, we intended to see whether a relationship existed between mercury and changes in vascular responses”.
The aim of the study was to evaluate whether really low concentrations of mercury, administered over a prolonged period of time, “could have a prejudicial effect on vascular response”, that is to say, on the way the arteries behave.
Data confirm that low doses of mercury have a harmful effect on vascular function. Mercedes Salaices, one of the other authors of the study, emphasises that the impact of mercury “could be compared to the impact produced by other more traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes or hypercholesterolaemia”.
The researchers analysed whether chronic exposure to mercury causes an endothelial dysfunction in resistance and conductance arteries. Treatment with mercury induces an increase in oxidative stress, which is responsible – at least in part – for the deterioration in vascular responses. “Arteries contract more and relax less because there is less nitric oxide”, the vasodilator factor that is attacked by oxidative stress, underlines Briones.
The risk of exposure to mercury today
Humans have been exposed to different metal pollutants such as mercury, although the possible consequences to health are not known in depth. At the present time, exposure to mercury is due, mainly, to the consumption of polluted fish, to the administration of anti-fungal agents and Thimerosal antiseptics in vaccines and to the inhalation of mercury vapour from some dental re-constructions
The European Environment Agency (EEA) recommended a reference blood mercury concentration of 5.8 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). It is considered that there are no adverse effects below this level. Data reveal that the concentration of mercury in the general population is less than 1 ng/ml, whereas in workers who suffer exposure in polluted zones, the levels are between 7 and 10. The percentage reaches up to 5.6 ng/ml amongst people who eat fish on a regular basis.
SINC Team | alfa
Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections
17.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego
Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
14.02.2017 | University of British Columbia
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine