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Mercury Poisoning

The metal mercury is an element, meaning it cannot be created or destroyed. It can, however, be combined with other materials to make organic or inorganic compounds. In its purest form, it is a kind of liquid metal also known as quicksilver. The use of mercury and its compounds in consumer products is declining, but still common.

Exposure to Mercury

Mercury is a major environmental concern. The largest source of mercury in the atmosphere is coal-burning power plants, which release this element into the air. Some of it is deposited back into US soil, while most of it becomes part of the global ecological system. Over time, mercury can build up in soil, water, fish, and shellfish.

People can also be exposed if their jobs involve handling toxic waste or potentially hazardous products made with elemental mercury. Another way to be exposed is by using products that contain this element, especially if these products break. Mercury can be released into the air by broken products and inhaled.

Some products that may contain this element, and therefore become dangerous if broken, include thermometers, fluorescent lights, and air conditioning units. Many products are made with mercury, so you may want to consult the Environmental Protection Agency about safe options.

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

The symptoms of mercury poisoning depend on several variables, such as the amount and duration of exposure. The most vulnerable populations are infants and developing fetuses. Mercury exposure to these populations can interfere with brain development, creating cognitive impairments and delays.

In older people, exposure to elemental mercury can cause:

  • Tremors
  • Emotional problems such as mood swings and excitability
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle weakness
  • Kidney failure, potentially leading to death

Contact a Jacksonville Mercury Poisoning Lawyer

If you have suffered from mercury poisoning, contact Jacksonville mercury exposure attorney Don Guthrie at 904-296-1088.

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