Poisoning Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
Those who live in or have
visited the United States and have suffered from mercury poisoning
were most likely poisoned after eating a contaminated fish or shellfish.
Fish and shellfish are the most common way to contract mercury poisoning,
since these animals can contain methylmercury. Mercury is a chemical
compound and it exists in three forms: methylmercury, elemental
mercury and other mercury compounds (inorganic, organic mercury).
It isn’t uncommon for people to already have some form of
mercury in their system, since this compound has become prevalent
in the environment.
The severity of a person’s mercury exposure depends on the
Again, methylmercury is usually ingested
when fish or shellfish are eaten. This can be particularly harmful
to fetuses, infants and children since it can affect their neurological
development. Expectant mothers are urged not to eat shellfish or
fish, since mercury exposure can occur in the womb. Those who have
been exposed to mercury poisoning will suffer the following symptoms:
faulty peripheral vision; pins and needles sensation in the hands,
feet or mouth; loss of coordination; difficulty speaking, hearing
and walking; as well as muscle weakness.
- How long were they exposed to the mercury?
- Which mercury chemical form were they exposed
- How much were they exposed to?
- How did they become exposed to the mercury?
(i.e. Inhalation, ingestion, skin contact)
- How healthy is the person who was exposed?
- How old is the exposed individual?
Inorganic mercury compounds can also be inhaled and absorbed by
the lungs, and they can also pass through the skin. These mercury
compounds can also be absorbed by the stomach if swallowed. Organic
mercury compounds can reach the body through the lungs, stomach
and mucus membranes. If you think you have been exposed to mercury
poisoning, contact your physician immediately.