E Minamata disease Q&A

Mercury in human body

Q1: Which part of the human body has the highest methylmercury concentration?

A1: It accumulates at the highest concentration in hair.

Commentary:
A part of methylmercury in the human body is contained in the hair and excreted in the urine.
Compared with the levels in blood, the mercury in hair is concentrated by more than 200 times, while mercury is diluted to about one-tenth in urine.
Since hair is easy to collect and treat, it is used as an index of methylmercury uptake.