Survey of the extent of the persisting effects of methylmercury pollution on the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Japan

Shigeru Takaoka, Tadashi Fujino, Yoshinobu Kawakami, Shin Ichi Shigeoka, Takashi Yorifuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 1956 methylmercury poisoning, known as Minamata disease, was discovered among the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Kyushu, Japan. Although about five hundred thousand people living in the area had supposedly been exposed to methylmercury, administrative agencies and research institutes had not performed any subsequent large scale, continuous health examination, so the actual extent of the negative health effects was not clearly documented. In 2009, we performed health surveys in order to examine residents in the polluted area and to research the extent of the polluted area and period of pollution. We analyzed data collected on 973 people (age = 62.3 ± 11.7) who had lived in the polluted area and had eaten the fish there and a control group, consisting of 142 persons (age = 62.0 ± 10.5), most of whom had not lived in the polluted area. Symptoms and neurological signs were statistically more prevalent in the four groups than in the control group and were more prevalent and severe in those who had eaten most fish. The patterns of positive findings of symptoms and neurological findings in the four groups were similar. Our data indicates that Minamata disease had spread outside of the central area and could still be observed recently, almost 50 years after the Chisso Company's factory had halted the dumping of mercury polluted waste water back in 1968.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalToxics
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 20 2018

Fingerprint

Nervous System Mercury Poisoning
Oceans and Seas
Fish
Japan
Fishes
Pollution
Health
Control Groups
Waste Water
Health Surveys
Mercury
Poisoning
Signs and Symptoms
Industrial plants
Wastewater
Research
Industry
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Correlation of signs and symptoms
  • Delayed toxicity
  • Dose-response relationship
  • Long term exposure
  • Methylmercury
  • Neurological findings
  • Severity
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety

Cite this

Survey of the extent of the persisting effects of methylmercury pollution on the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Japan. / Takaoka, Shigeru; Fujino, Tadashi; Kawakami, Yoshinobu; Shigeoka, Shin Ichi; Yorifuji, Takashi.

In: Toxics, Vol. 6, No. 3, 39, 20.07.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Takaoka, Shigeru ; Fujino, Tadashi ; Kawakami, Yoshinobu ; Shigeoka, Shin Ichi ; Yorifuji, Takashi. / Survey of the extent of the persisting effects of methylmercury pollution on the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Japan. In: Toxics. 2018 ; Vol. 6, No. 3.
@article{664af251668a4c218228ecf2b3a6826a,
title = "Survey of the extent of the persisting effects of methylmercury pollution on the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Japan",
abstract = "In 1956 methylmercury poisoning, known as Minamata disease, was discovered among the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Kyushu, Japan. Although about five hundred thousand people living in the area had supposedly been exposed to methylmercury, administrative agencies and research institutes had not performed any subsequent large scale, continuous health examination, so the actual extent of the negative health effects was not clearly documented. In 2009, we performed health surveys in order to examine residents in the polluted area and to research the extent of the polluted area and period of pollution. We analyzed data collected on 973 people (age = 62.3 ± 11.7) who had lived in the polluted area and had eaten the fish there and a control group, consisting of 142 persons (age = 62.0 ± 10.5), most of whom had not lived in the polluted area. Symptoms and neurological signs were statistically more prevalent in the four groups than in the control group and were more prevalent and severe in those who had eaten most fish. The patterns of positive findings of symptoms and neurological findings in the four groups were similar. Our data indicates that Minamata disease had spread outside of the central area and could still be observed recently, almost 50 years after the Chisso Company's factory had halted the dumping of mercury polluted waste water back in 1968.",
keywords = "Correlation of signs and symptoms, Delayed toxicity, Dose-response relationship, Long term exposure, Methylmercury, Neurological findings, Severity, Symptoms",
author = "Shigeru Takaoka and Tadashi Fujino and Yoshinobu Kawakami and Shigeoka, {Shin Ichi} and Takashi Yorifuji",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "20",
doi = "10.3390/toxics6030039",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
journal = "Toxics",
issn = "2305-6304",
publisher = "MDPI AG",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Survey of the extent of the persisting effects of methylmercury pollution on the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Japan

AU - Takaoka, Shigeru

AU - Fujino, Tadashi

AU - Kawakami, Yoshinobu

AU - Shigeoka, Shin Ichi

AU - Yorifuji, Takashi

PY - 2018/7/20

Y1 - 2018/7/20

N2 - In 1956 methylmercury poisoning, known as Minamata disease, was discovered among the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Kyushu, Japan. Although about five hundred thousand people living in the area had supposedly been exposed to methylmercury, administrative agencies and research institutes had not performed any subsequent large scale, continuous health examination, so the actual extent of the negative health effects was not clearly documented. In 2009, we performed health surveys in order to examine residents in the polluted area and to research the extent of the polluted area and period of pollution. We analyzed data collected on 973 people (age = 62.3 ± 11.7) who had lived in the polluted area and had eaten the fish there and a control group, consisting of 142 persons (age = 62.0 ± 10.5), most of whom had not lived in the polluted area. Symptoms and neurological signs were statistically more prevalent in the four groups than in the control group and were more prevalent and severe in those who had eaten most fish. The patterns of positive findings of symptoms and neurological findings in the four groups were similar. Our data indicates that Minamata disease had spread outside of the central area and could still be observed recently, almost 50 years after the Chisso Company's factory had halted the dumping of mercury polluted waste water back in 1968.

AB - In 1956 methylmercury poisoning, known as Minamata disease, was discovered among the inhabitants around the Shiranui Sea, Kyushu, Japan. Although about five hundred thousand people living in the area had supposedly been exposed to methylmercury, administrative agencies and research institutes had not performed any subsequent large scale, continuous health examination, so the actual extent of the negative health effects was not clearly documented. In 2009, we performed health surveys in order to examine residents in the polluted area and to research the extent of the polluted area and period of pollution. We analyzed data collected on 973 people (age = 62.3 ± 11.7) who had lived in the polluted area and had eaten the fish there and a control group, consisting of 142 persons (age = 62.0 ± 10.5), most of whom had not lived in the polluted area. Symptoms and neurological signs were statistically more prevalent in the four groups than in the control group and were more prevalent and severe in those who had eaten most fish. The patterns of positive findings of symptoms and neurological findings in the four groups were similar. Our data indicates that Minamata disease had spread outside of the central area and could still be observed recently, almost 50 years after the Chisso Company's factory had halted the dumping of mercury polluted waste water back in 1968.

KW - Correlation of signs and symptoms

KW - Delayed toxicity

KW - Dose-response relationship

KW - Long term exposure

KW - Methylmercury

KW - Neurological findings

KW - Severity

KW - Symptoms

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054335392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85054335392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/toxics6030039

DO - 10.3390/toxics6030039

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - Toxics

JF - Toxics

SN - 2305-6304

IS - 3

M1 - 39

ER -