Economic evaluation of health consequences of prenatal methylmercury exposure in France

Publié le 10 Août 2012
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Evidence of a dose-response relationship between prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) and neurodevelopmental consequences in terms of IQ reduction, makes it possible to evaluate the economic consequences of MeHg exposures. OBJECTIVE: To perform an economic evaluation of annual national benefits of reduction of the prenatal MeHg exposure in France. METHODS: We used data on hair-Hg concentrations in French women of childbearing age (18-45 years) from a national sample of 126 women and from two studies conducted in coastal regions (n = 161and n = 503). A linear dose response function with a slope of 0.465 IQ point reduction per mug/g increase in hair-Hg concentration was used, along with a log transformation of the exposure scale, where a doubling of exposure was associated with a loss of 1.5 IQ points. The costs calculations utilized an updated estimate of E2008 17,363 per IQ point decrement, with three hypothetical exposure cut-off points (hair-Hg of 0.58, 1.0, and 2.5 mug/g). RESULTS: Because of higher exposure levels of women in coastal communities, the annual economic impacts based on these data were greater than those using the national data, i.e. E 1.62 billion (national), and E 3.02 billion and E 2.51 billion (regional), respectively, with the linear model, and E 5.46 billion (national), and E 9.13 billion and E 8.17 billion (regional), with the log model, for exposures above 0.58 mug/g. CONCLUSIONS: These results emphasize that efforts to reduce MeHg exposures would have high social benefits by preventing the serious and lifelong consequences of neurodevelopmental deficits in children. (R.A.)

Auteur : Pichery C, Bellanger M, Zmirou Navier D, Frery N, Cordier S, Roue Legall A, Hartemann P, Grandjean P
Environmental health, 2012, vol. 11, n°. 1, p. 53