Journal of Environmental and Public Health / 2012 / Article / Tab 4

Review Article

Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review

Table 4

Studies of mercury excretion in sweat.

StudyCountry, participantsStudy design and interventionKey findings (concentrations μg/L unless otherwise indicated)

Genuis et al., 2010 [3]Canada
10 with chronic conditions
10 healthy
Sweating induced by exercise or sauna, collected directly into bottle16 participants had mercury detected in all samples
Blood plasma mercury mean 0.61 (range 0.26–1.6) ()
Urine mean 0.65 (range 0.32–1.3) ()
Sweat mean 0.86 (range 0.48–1.5) ()

Robinson and Skelly, 1983 [39]USA
21 males at university
7 sampled more than once
Mercury in sweat dripping from forehead or nose, compared with urineSweat mean 0.5 (range 0.1–1.4)

Sunderman 1978 [40]USA
1 case with mercury intoxication
Case report of chelating agents to treat mercury intoxication, followed by a regimen of daily sweat and physiotherapy for a protracted period of several monthsAppreciable quantities of mercury were excreted in sweat.
With the sweating regimen mercury, levels in sweat decreased to within the normal range

Lovejoy et al., 1973 [41]USA
3 mercury-exposed workers
3 nonexposed workers
1 control
Participants wore rubber chest waders from 7 : 30 to 9 : 00 am
Sweat accumulated in the feet was collected, as well as a 16-hour urine sample
Exposed workers:
 1.5 h sweat: 120–350 ng mercury
 16 h urine: 160–190 ng mercury
Unexposed workers:
 1.5 h sweat: 5–8 ng mercury  16 h urine: 5–7 ng mercury
Internal controls:
 1.5 h sweat: 43–70 ng mercury
 16 h urine: 30–46 ng mercury
Mercury concentrations in sweat > urine for exposed workers; similar for controls