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Calculation of Mercury’s Effects on Neurodevelopment: Bellinger Responds

[do action=”authors”]David C. Bellinger[/do]

[do action=”affiliations”]Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, E-mail:[/do]

[do action=”citations”]Environ Health Perspect 120:a452–a452 (2012). [Online 1 December 2012]

[do action=”notes”]The author has served as an expert witness in civil litigation involving exposures of children to lead and metallic mercury and has received travel funding and honoraria to present lectures on environmental heath of children.[/do]

In my paper (Bellinger 2012), I noted among the limitations that the calculations are only as valid as the data on which they are based. My hope was that those with a special interest in a particular risk factor would be stimulated to provide stronger data on either the exposure distribution or the dose–response relationship so that the calculations could be refined. I am therefore grateful to Grandjean et al. for providing an updated estimate of the dose–response relationship for prenatal methylmercury, the use of which suggests that the total Full-Scale IQ loss among U.S. children is considerably larger than my initial estimate. All of the estimates listed in Table 2 of my paper (Bellinger 2012) should be considered provisional and should be updated when more precise data become available.

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Bellinger DC. 2012. A strategy for comparing the contributions of environmental chemicals and other risk factors to neurodevelopment of children. Environ Health Perspect 120:501–507.

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