Finance & Accounting
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Human Exposure to Mercury Introduction Environmental protection agency (EPA) has listed mercury among the five most toxic substances affecting human as well as environmental health adversely. The mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic toxicity effects of mercury vary with the form of mercury, dose, and routes of exposure.
Though all forms of mercury can cause effects in the central and peripheral nervous system, methyl mercury and metallic mercury are more harmful. Acute inhalation of metallic mercury vapours may cause damage to the lungs, nausea, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, skin rashes, eye irritation, chest pains, stomatitis, gingivitis, cough, dyspnea and salivation. Chronic exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury may cause permanent damage to brain, kidneys and developing fetus. Effects of chronic exposure on brain functioning may cause weakness, fatigue, weight loss, vision or hearing disorders, tremors development, behavioral changes, aneuploidy in lymphocytes of the exposed, dremographia and memory loss. Chronic exposure to mercuric compounds is sometimes also characterized by anorexia, apathy, fever, diaphoresis, photophobia, insomnia and scaling or peeling of the skin of the hands and feet with bullous lesions. Toxicity Metabolites and Biomarkers Exposure to organo-mercury compounds is indicated by chemical analysis of blood mercury. Inorganic mercury concentrations in blood can be used to determine acute exposure to high dose of mercury. ...