Health effects of heavy metals due to MSWI in Hämeenkyrö

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Health effects of heavy metals due to MSWI in Hämeenkyrö describe the health effects of air emissions of heavy metals.

  • Sensitive individuals may have symptoms from mercury after a dose 4.3 µg/kg/d. [1]
  • In pike, the average methyl mercury concentration is 0.4 mg/kg in fresh weight. The highest concentrations are 0.85 mg/kg [2]
  • The average intake of mehyl mercury from Finnish fish is 0.026 µg/kg/d. This also tells the order of magnitude for the total mercury exposure, as fish is the main source.
  • The mercury emissions from the MSWI plant would be 50 kg per year, if the emissions would permanently be at the highest allowed. The emission can therefore be expected to be smaller. The total mercury emissions from Finland have been estimated at 600 kg per year [3].


  1. There is a safe margin between the adverse effect level and the current exposure (4.3/0.026 = 150-fold margin of safety). However, eating contaminated pike it is possible to exceed the adverse effect level: 4.3 µg/kg/d*70 kg /850 µg/kg = 0.35 kg/d. Thus, 350 g of pike per day may cause methyl mercury symptoms, and even a lower consumption is enough in an especially contaminated area.
  2. The mercury emissions from the MSWI occur from a high stack and disperse to a wide area during days and weeks without causing high concentrations. Therefore, the critical thing is therefore the average long-term exposure. It is unlikely that the local concentrations could reach dangerous levels.







The safety margin of mercury is 150-fold in the case of Hämeenkyrö MSWI.