Public Analysts Laboratory

Cork, Ireland

Public Analysts Laboratory

Cork, Ireland

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Davidson F.,Public Analysts Laboratory | Burke P.,Public Analysts Laboratory | Burns D.,Health Service Executive | Flanagan A.,Public Analysts Laboratory | And 24 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. Methods: Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Results: Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children’s samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair) and children (0.149 µg /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


McCall E.,Dublin Institute of Technology | McCall E.,Public Analysts Laboratory | Keegan J.,Public Analysts Laboratory | Foley B.,Dublin Institute of Technology
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2012

A rapid and sensitive LC-MS/MS method for the identification, quantification and confirmation of six primary aromatic amines (PAAs) was developed and validated to ISO 17025:2005. From a literature survey, 57 frequently used PAA compounds were identified and subsequently reduced to six - aniline, 4,4'-MDA, 3,3'-DMB, 2,4-TDA, 2,6-TDA and o-T - based on results from migration studies on a range of utensils. Low LOQs of between 0.075 and 0.496 μg l -1 were determined for the six analytes, thereby quantifying well below the legal limit of 10 μgkg -1 total PAAs. Furthermore, low measurement uncertainties were calculated for the analytical method, in the range of 3.15-3.20%. Mean recoveries were between 98% and 102% and spanned over ±12% at 95% CI. Following the analysis of 84 black polyamide kitchen utensils, the migration of PAAs detected was significant and is therefore of concern. The six analytes identified, quantified and confirmed in this survey could be utilised as possible markers for the identification of PAA migration, thereby improving the time and cost-efficiency of food control laboratories. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.


PubMed | Public Analysts Laboratory, University College Dublin, Public Analysts Laboratory Health Service Executive and Environmental Health Service
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2014

Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study.Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results.Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of childrens samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 g/g hair) and children (0.149 g /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish.The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health.

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