Early chronic low-level methylmercury poisoning in monkeys impairs spatial vision

Science  14 May 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4547, pp. 759-761
DOI: 10.1126/science.7079739


Five monkeys were treated from birth with oral doses of mercury as methylmercury (50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day); concentrations in the blood peaked at 1.2 to 1.4 parts per million; and declined after weaning from infant formula to a steady level of 0.6 to 0.9 part per million. There were no overt signs of toxicity. When tested between 3 and 4 years of age under conditions of both high and low luminance, treated monkeys exhibited spatial vision that was impaired compared with that of control monkeys.