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March 10, 1999

Effects of Methylmercury Exposure on Neurodevelopment—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(10):896-897. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-10-jac90000

In Reply: Drs Grandjean and White and Drs Stern and Gochfeld question the significance of our study of MeHg exposure from fish consumption in the Seychelles Islands. We believe the issues they raise are opinions not based on scientific facts.

First, hair is well established and widely used as a biological marker for MeHg exposure and was recommended as the measure of choice by the World Health Organization. Hair correlates with brain levels and has a smaller coefficient of variation (percent error) than blood.1 Longitudinal analysis of hair allows the recapitulation of exposure during the entire period of pregnancy.