Mercury and Selenium Content and Chemical Form in Human and Animal Tissue
Authors: Cappon, Chris J.; Smith, J. Crispin
Source: Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 5, Number 2, March 1981 , pp. 90-98(9)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:The content, chemical form, and distribution of mercury and selenium were determined for selected samples of human and animal tissue by gas chromatography. Methylmercury averaged 38.7% of the total mercury content in homogenized human brain. For human heart, spleen, liver, kidney and placenta, methylmercury comprised 40.2%, 57.0%, 39.6%, 6.0% and 57.1%, respectively, of the total mercury content. Similar results were obtained for the heart and liver of a whitetail deer. Methylmercury represented 9.1%, 62.9% and 24.1% of the total mercury content in seal liver, seal meat and deer meat, respectively. For all samples, a significant portion of the total selenium content, averaging 27%, was present as selenate (Se VI). Tissue selenium content did not correlate with the corresponding mercury content. In brain, heart and placenta, and in seal liver and meat, 53% to 80% of the total mercury content was water-extractable. For human kidney, liver and spleen, and deer meat, only 15% to 45% of the total mercury was extractable. On a percentage basis, inorganic mercury was more extractable than methylmercury, except for human kidney and liver, and deer meat. For all samples, except kidney, liver and deer meat, 55% to 76% of the total selenium content was water-extractable, Se VI being more extractable on a percentage basis than selenite (Se IV) and selenide (Se-II).
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 1981-03-01
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