Economic benefits of methylmercury exposure control in Europe: Monetary value of neurotoxicity prevention

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/274558
Title:
Economic benefits of methylmercury exposure control in Europe: Monetary value of neurotoxicity prevention
Authors:
Bellanger, Martine; Pichery, Céline; Aerts, Dominique; Berglund, Marika; Castaño, Argelia; Čejchanová, Mája; Crettaz, Pierre; Davidson, Fred; Esteban, Marta; Fischer, Marc E; Gurzau, Anca Elena; Halzlova, Katarina; Katsonouri, Andromachi; Knudsen, Lisbeth E; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Koppen, Gudrun; Ligocka, Danuta; Miklavčič, Ana; Reis, M Fátima; Rudnai, Peter; Tratnik, Janja Snoj; Weihe, Pál; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Grandjean, Philippe; DEMO/COPHES
Citation:
Environmental Health. 2013 Jan 07;12(1):3
Issue Date:
7-Jan-2013
URI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-12-3; http://hdl.handle.net/10147/274558
Abstract:
Abstract Background Due to global mercury pollution and the adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), an assessment of the economic benefits of prevented developmental neurotoxicity is necessary for any cost-benefit analysis. Methods Distributions of hair-Hg concentrations among women of reproductive age were obtained from the DEMOCOPHES project (1,875 subjects in 17 countries) and literature data (6,820 subjects from 8 countries). The exposures were assumed to comply with log-normal distributions. Neurotoxicity effects were estimated from a linear dose-response function with a slope of 0.465 Intelligence Quotient (IQ) point reduction per μg/g increase in the maternal hair-Hg concentration during pregnancy, assuming no deficits below a hair-Hg limit of 0.58 μg/g thought to be safe. A logarithmic IQ response was used in sensitivity analyses. The estimated IQ benefit cost was based on lifetime income, adjusted for purchasing power parity. Results The hair-mercury concentrations were the highest in Southern Europe and lowest in Eastern Europe. The results suggest that, within the EU, more than 1.8 million children are born every year with MeHg exposures above the limit of 0.58 μg/g, and about 200,000 births exceed a higher limit of 2.5 μg/g proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The total annual benefits of exposure prevention within the EU were estimated at more than 600,000 IQ points per year, corresponding to a total economic benefit between €8,000 million and €9,000 million per year. About four-fold higher values were obtained when using the logarithmic response function, while adjustment for productivity resulted in slightly lower total benefits. These calculations do not include the less tangible advantages of protecting brain development against neurotoxicity or any other adverse effects. Conclusions These estimates document that efforts to combat mercury pollution and to reduce MeHg exposures will have very substantial economic benefits in Europe, mainly in southern countries. Some data may not be entirely representative, some countries were not covered, and anticipated changes in mercury pollution all suggest a need for extended biomonitoring of human MeHg exposure.
Item Type:
Journal Article

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBellanger, Martine-
dc.contributor.authorPichery, Céline-
dc.contributor.authorAerts, Dominique-
dc.contributor.authorBerglund, Marika-
dc.contributor.authorCastaño, Argelia-
dc.contributor.authorČejchanová, Mája-
dc.contributor.authorCrettaz, Pierre-
dc.contributor.authorDavidson, Fred-
dc.contributor.authorEsteban, Marta-
dc.contributor.authorFischer, Marc E-
dc.contributor.authorGurzau, Anca Elena-
dc.contributor.authorHalzlova, Katarina-
dc.contributor.authorKatsonouri, Andromachi-
dc.contributor.authorKnudsen, Lisbeth E-
dc.contributor.authorKolossa-Gehring, Marike-
dc.contributor.authorKoppen, Gudrun-
dc.contributor.authorLigocka, Danuta-
dc.contributor.authorMiklavčič, Ana-
dc.contributor.authorReis, M Fátima-
dc.contributor.authorRudnai, Peter-
dc.contributor.authorTratnik, Janja Snoj-
dc.contributor.authorWeihe, Pál-
dc.contributor.authorBudtz-Jørgensen, Esben-
dc.contributor.authorGrandjean, Philippe-
dc.contributor.authorDEMO/COPHES-
dc.date.accessioned2013-03-21T12:35:39Z-
dc.date.available2013-03-21T12:35:39Z-
dc.date.issued2013-01-07-
dc.identifier.citationEnvironmental Health. 2013 Jan 07;12(1):3-
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-12-3-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/274558-
dc.description.abstractAbstract Background Due to global mercury pollution and the adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), an assessment of the economic benefits of prevented developmental neurotoxicity is necessary for any cost-benefit analysis. Methods Distributions of hair-Hg concentrations among women of reproductive age were obtained from the DEMOCOPHES project (1,875 subjects in 17 countries) and literature data (6,820 subjects from 8 countries). The exposures were assumed to comply with log-normal distributions. Neurotoxicity effects were estimated from a linear dose-response function with a slope of 0.465 Intelligence Quotient (IQ) point reduction per μg/g increase in the maternal hair-Hg concentration during pregnancy, assuming no deficits below a hair-Hg limit of 0.58 μg/g thought to be safe. A logarithmic IQ response was used in sensitivity analyses. The estimated IQ benefit cost was based on lifetime income, adjusted for purchasing power parity. Results The hair-mercury concentrations were the highest in Southern Europe and lowest in Eastern Europe. The results suggest that, within the EU, more than 1.8 million children are born every year with MeHg exposures above the limit of 0.58 μg/g, and about 200,000 births exceed a higher limit of 2.5 μg/g proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The total annual benefits of exposure prevention within the EU were estimated at more than 600,000 IQ points per year, corresponding to a total economic benefit between €8,000 million and €9,000 million per year. About four-fold higher values were obtained when using the logarithmic response function, while adjustment for productivity resulted in slightly lower total benefits. These calculations do not include the less tangible advantages of protecting brain development against neurotoxicity or any other adverse effects. Conclusions These estimates document that efforts to combat mercury pollution and to reduce MeHg exposures will have very substantial economic benefits in Europe, mainly in southern countries. Some data may not be entirely representative, some countries were not covered, and anticipated changes in mercury pollution all suggest a need for extended biomonitoring of human MeHg exposure.-
dc.titleEconomic benefits of methylmercury exposure control in Europe: Monetary value of neurotoxicity prevention-
dc.typeJournal Article-
dc.language.rfc3066en-
dc.rights.holderMartine Bellanger et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.-
dc.description.statusPeer Reviewed-
dc.date.updated2013-03-15T16:12:10Z-
All Items in Lenus, The Irish Health Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.