1974 Volume 114 Issue 4 Pages 369-377
What kind of food contained a large amount of mercury and how much of mercury was taken into our bodies via diets were studied on 5 daily diets. Inorganic and organic mercury contents were separatively measured on the dishes of each daily diet by the method of Magos. Daily intakes of inorganic., organic, and total mercury ranged 0.47-1.0, 2.68-70.04, and 3.25-70.92μg, respectively. Dishes of fish usually showed the largest mercury content in a daily diet, and the daily intake of mercury was mainly dependent upon the quantity and the kind of fish consumed. The second most important kind of dishes was that of egg, and the third one was boiled rice. By consuming one egg a day, about 1-2 ag mercury (70-90% is organic mercury) is ingested, and 0.4-2.8 μg of mercury (60-100% is organic mercury) is in 600g of boiled rice. In case of fish is consumed, the ranges of daily intakes of inorganic, organic, and total mercury are as narrow as 0.23-0.88, 1.53-3.22, and 2.25-3.99 μg. In terms of mercury contents in rice, our results differed from those previously published by Yajima or Kondo who estimated much larger values of daily intake of mercury from rice such as 34 or 19 μg. We need further studies on rice.