Pollution and Health: toxic effects of mercury on health

Saturday, October 23, 2010

toxic effects of mercury on health

Waste such as mercury polluting the environment. figure via embryology

mercury effect. figure via eytonsearth

young children affected by environmental pollution. figure via infraredsauna

Mercury is contained in some of the fish we eat, whether caught in lakes and streams or to buy groceries. Mercury is also present in some of the products we use, which can be found at home, dentists, and schools. This article contains links to information on sources of mercury exposure, potential effects on health, fish may contain mercury, consumer products that contain mercury, and ways to reduce mercury exposure .

General information on mercury exposure and

Forms of mercury. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is in the air, water and soil. There are several forms:

elemental mercury or metal
• inorganic mercury and
• organic compounds of mercury.

Sources of mercury. Mercury is an element of the crust. You can not create or destroy mercury. Pure mercury is a liquid metal, sometimes called mercury that evaporates easily. It is traditionally used to make products like thermometers, switches and bulbs.

Mercury is found in many rocks including coal. When coal is burned, mercury is released into the environment. coal plants are the largest source of man-caused mercury emissions in the air in the U.S., representing over 40 percent of total national emissions of mercury caused by man. The EPA estimates that about one quarter of U.S. emissions by coal plants are deposited in the neighboring United States, and the remainder enters the general circulation. burning hazardous wastes, producing chlorine, breaches of mercury, mercury spills, and improper treatment and disposal of products or wastes containing mercury, it can release into the environment. According to current estimates, less than half of all mercury deposition in the U.S. comes from U.S. sources.

Exposure to mercury. The mercury in the air eventually settles into water or on land where it can be washed with water. Once deposited, certain microorganisms can change into methylmercury, a toxic form that accumulates in fish, shellfish and animals that eat fish. Fish and seafood are the main sources of methylmercury exposure to humans. Methylmercury builds up more on certain types of fish and shellfish than others. Concentrations of methylmercury in fish and shellfish depend on what they eat, how long they live and how high up the food chain.

EPA is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and with states and tribes to issue advice to women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers and parents of young children, how often you should eat certain types of trade in fish and shellfish caught. Alarms are also issued to fish for men, women and children of all ages, if any. In addition, EPA publishes an annual summary of information about local fish and alerts sent food safety recommendations to the public. Fish is a good part of the diet, if EPA and the FDA continues to encourage people to eat fish low in methylmercury.

Another exhibition, less mercury, which may be of concern is inhalation of mercury vapor. These exposures can occur when products containing mercury or elemental mercury break and release into the air, especially in warm or poorly ventilated indoor environments.

The health effects of mercury. mercury exposure at high levels can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune systems of people of all ages. Studies show that eating fish does not cause the majority of these health problems. However, showed that high levels of methylmercury in the blood of unborn babies and young children can be detrimental to the developing nervous system, making children less able to think and learn.

via medicinenet

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