Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mercury poisoning

Mercury poisoning, also known as mercuralism, is the phenomenon of toxication by contact with mercury.

The main dangers associated with elemental mercury are that at standard conditions for temperature and pressure, mercury tends to oxidize forming mercury(II) oxide, and that if dropped or disturbed, mercury will form microscopic drops, increasing its surface area dramatically.

Air saturated with mercury vapor at room temperature is at a concentration many times the toxic level, despite the high boiling point (the danger is increased at higher temperatures).

Watersheds tend to concentrate mercury through erosion of mineral deposits and atmospheric deposition.

Plants absorb mercury when wet but may emit it in dry air.

Plant and sedimentary deposits in coal contain various levels of mercury.

Like plants, mushrooms can also accumulate mercury from the soil.

Mercury damages the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, and other organs, and adversely affects the mouth, gums, and teeth.

Exposure over long periods of time or heavy exposure to mercury vapor can result in brain damage and ultimately death.

Mercury and its compounds are particularly toxic to fetuses and infants.

Women who have been exposed to mercury in pregnancy have sometimes given birth to children with serious birth defects.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Mercury poisoning", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:


Related Stories


Share This



Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins