Economic evaluation of health consequences of prenatal methylmercury exposure in France.

Abstract : UNLABELLED: 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 μg/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 €2008 17,363 per IQ point decrement, with three hypothetical exposure cut-off points (hair-Hg of 0.58, 1.0, and 2.5 μg/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. € 1.62 billion (national), and € 3.02 billion and € 2.51 billion (regional), respectively, with the linear model, and € 5.46 billion (national), and € 9.13 billion and € 8.17 billion (regional), with the log model, for exposures above 0.58 μg/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.
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Environmental Health, BioMed Central, 2012, 11 (1), pp.53. 〈10.1186/1476-069X-11-53〉
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Céline Pichery, Martine Bellanger, Denis Zmirou-Navier, Nadine Fréry, Sylvaine Cordier, et al.. Economic evaluation of health consequences of prenatal methylmercury exposure in France.. Environmental Health, BioMed Central, 2012, 11 (1), pp.53. 〈10.1186/1476-069X-11-53〉. 〈inserm-00769338〉

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