Food Safety
Online ISSN : 2187-8404
ISSN-L : 2187-8404
Original Article
Probabilistic Estimation of Dietary Intake of Methylmercury from Fish in Japan
Takahiro WatanabeRieko MatsudaChikako Uneyama
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2021 Volume 9 Issue 1 Pages 1-9


Dietary intake of methylmercury from fish was estimated via Monte Carlo simulation using data for methylmercury concentrations in 210 fish samples and data regarding fish consumption extracted from the Japanese National Health and Nutrition Survey. The fish analyzed were classified into 5 groups according to categories used in the survey. The distribution of consumption of fish from each group was used without fitting to statistical distributions. A log-normal distribution was fitted to the distribution of methylmercury concentration in each fish group. Two random numbers that followed these distributions were generated, and a trial value was calculated by multiplying these random numbers. The trial value was divided by the body weight (50 kg) to arrive at an estimate of dietary methylmercury intake. A total of 100,000 Monte Carlo simulation iterations were performed. The estimated mean daily intake of methylmercury was 0.093 µg/kg body weight (bw)/day. This value is well below the tolerable daily intake of 0.292 µg/kg bw/day calculated from the tolerable weekly intake (2.0 µg/kg bw/week) established by the Food Safety Commission of Japan. The probability that the daily intake of methylmercury exceeds the tolerable daily intake was 7.6%. As there are no data regarding fish consumption for consecutive days, estimation of the weekly intake of methylmercury is a subject for future studies.

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© 2021 Food Safety Commission, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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