What happens when a person comes in contact with mercury?

What happens when a person comes in contact with mercury?

High exposure to inorganic mercury may result in damage to the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system, and the kidneys. Both inorganic and organic mercury are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and affect other systems through this route.

Can mercury be absorbed through skin contact?

ROUTES OF EXPOSURE: Elemental mercury is toxic primarily through inhalation of mercury vapors. It is only slowly absorbed through the skin, although it may cause skin and eye irritation.

Where might you come in contact with mercury?

Mercury gets into the air from a number of sources. Once in the air, mercury eventually settles into bodies of water like lakes and streams, or onto land, where it can be washed into water. Microorganisms in waterbodies can change it into methylmercury, where it builds up in fish and shellfish.

What happens to your body when you touch Mercury?

Mercury Toxicity. Direct contact with elemental (liquid) mercury can cause irritation and chemical burns. Possible immediate effects may include dizziness, vertigo, flu-like symptoms, burning or irritation, pale or clammy skin, irritability, and emotional instability.

Where does Mercury come from in the universe?

Mercury, a liquid metal – once widely referred to as quick silver – is a naturally occurring element released by volcanoes and the weathering of rocks.

How are people exposed to Mercury in the home?

People can be exposed to elemental mercury when household items that contain mercury are broken. Elemental mercury can also be brought into your house from abandoned industrial sites and other places. Breathing mercury vapors in air is the most common way to be exposed to elemental mercury, and is the most harmful to your health.

What happens if you wash your hands after handling Mercury?

The vapor pressure of mercury is so low at room temperature that there is very little risk of inhalation. If you wash your hands after handling, risks are very low. But if you drop a bit, it could become atomized, and inhalation risks go up considerably.

What are the most common ways people are exposed to Mercury?

Common Exposures to Mercury. The main way that people are exposed to mercury is by eating fish and shellfish that have high levels of methylmercury, a highly toxic form of mercury, in their tissues. A less common way people are exposed to mercury is breathing mercury vapor.

Where does Mercury in the air come from?

The erosion of rocks, eruption of volcanoes and decomposition of soil lead to the to the admission of mercury into the air. While natural levels of mercury have never been a threat to humans or animals, man-made levels are. The main and most problematic source of mercury admission comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels; primarily coal.

Why are people afraid to touch liquid mercury?

It is ironic how fear mongering by the press and those out to make a dollar from unneeded actions has influenced the masses to leave their brains on off and look to a corrupt government for their salvation. I played with it as a kid and in high school, but was never around fumes.

How is Mercury transported from one place to another?

the weather. Depending on these factors, mercury in the atmosphere can be transported over a range of distances — anywhere from a few feet from its source, to halfway around the globe — before it is deposited in soil or water.