ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE | Oct. 30, 2020
Relationship of Fish Consumption to Hair Mercury Levels of Pregnant Women
Rahmat Hidayat, Hasnawati Amqam, Rina Previana Amiruddin, Anwar Daud, Anwar Mallongi, Rafael Djajakusli
Page no 282-286
Mercury (Hg) is a natural chemical element found in the Earth's crust in three forms, namely elemental, inorganic and organic. Mercury is formed naturally through anthropogenic activities, volcanoes or seepage of groundwater through mercury deposits. Mercury exposure cause harm to pregnant women and the fetus. Some mercury compounds bioaccumulate and cross the placenta to the fetus. They also pollute colostrum and breast milk, causing severe health problems for newborns such as, disabled and a tendency to hyperactivity or autism. High fish consumption increase mercury levels in pregnant women. Fish intake during pregnancy is associated with mercury levels in hair in pregnant women, mainly the frequency of fish intake, types of fish and the amount of fish consumed. This study aims to determine the relationship between fish consumption and mercury levels in the hair of pregnant women. Hair samples were taken from 53 pregnant women in Bulukumba district using purposive sampling technique. Hair analysis used Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) AMA 254 with a wavelength of 253.7 µm. This research is analytic observational with a cross-sectional study design. The results showed that were 73.6% of mercury levels in the hair of pregnant women were abnormal, then 64.2% of pregnant women who consumed fish> 3 times / week and 35.8% of fish consumption < 3 times / week It is concluded that there was a significant relationship between fish consumption and mercury levels in the hair of pregnant women, but it was not significant for total fish consumption. The community is advised to use mercury friendly materials and tools and to the government to intensify education to vulnerable communities about the dangers of mercury in pregnant women.