Mercury is a shiny liquid metal that you can see on some of the thermometers. It is an element that the creator of different products uses, including measuring instruments and light bulbs. Also, it conducts electricity, which is why it is also used to make switches. Mercury toxicity is harmful to our health.
1. Health and Environment
Being exposed to a high level of mercury can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs. Also, a mother with high amount of it in the bloodstream while pregnant is dangerous. The baby might have problems in developing the nervous system. As a result, it will make it difficult for the child to think and learn.
It has a serious impact on the environment. The fishes in the bodies of water contain mercury. Birds that eat fish are at risk of mercury poisoning.
Here are some of the sources of it:
Burning coal for electricity is one of the causes. Hence, it affects not only the environment but also those near a coal power plant. That is why renewable energy is much safer. Using coal, which is not a renewable source of energy, is not helpful.
Mercury and Gold Extraction
This element is impossible to destroy, so it is better to undergo recycling. Therefore, it makes it available for other uses. There is no need to mine to look for it because they can use the leftovers. Also, it is used to extract gold. Techniques and skills in using mercury to extract gold are very important.
You can see mercury in these products:
- Dental fillings
- Skin-lightening products
The FDA is doing some actions to lower its levels in these products. However, even if it has been lowered, it is still present. Which still makes it harmful if used most of the time. Additionally, they are trying to remove mercury from the products to avoid any symptoms of it.
2. Signs of Mercury Poisoning
The main effect of mercury is damage to the system of nerves. Which include a slow process in understanding, movement, language development, and visual awareness. Therefore, long term exposure to mercury may create damage to the nerves. Young children who are still in the developing stage are more at risk of mercury poisoning signs. For adults exposed to high levels of it may have permanent brain and kidney damage.
3. Poisoning from fish
You may think that fish is healthy food. Yes, it is, but fish contains certain types of mercury. It is because of the water where the fish lives. Also, bigger fish can have higher amounts of it. The reason is that they eat small fish that also contain mercury. For instance, fishes like swordfish and sharks are some. But the most common fishes that you can see on the market are tuna, marlin, and king mackerel. You should be aware of how much you eat of these fishes.
4. Diagnosis and Treatment
If you want to examine mercury poisoning is through a physical examination. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, your eating habits, and lifestyle. Blood and urine test are helpful in the measure of the levels of mercury in your body. Mercury toxicity depends on the amount of mercury in your body.
There is no cure for it. The only way to treat it is to stop the use of it. Hence, please stop eating seafood that contains a high level of it. Do not work with mercury or in a coal power plant. You must take action to leave that kind of workplace.
When the level of this chemical in your body is high, the doctor will treat you with chelation therapy. It is a drug that removes mercury from organs and helps your body to remove it. Suppose you have damages to the nerves because of this chemical. It is good to continue this treatment to manage the effects caused by this metal.
Now that you can imagine how you use mercury every day in your household. The best way is to prevent it. You may only eat big types of fish and other seafood sometimes. Therefore, it is better to avoid fish with high levels of mercury. Always read and check the FDA guidelines for food and materials that may have mercury. If you are pregnant, take a urine and blood test before having a child to make sure that it will not affect the baby. If a light bulb that has mercury breaks, be careful in throwing it away.