Information about Mercury
Mercury is a nonessential trace metal that is a well known toxin, second only to lead as a cause of heavy metal poisoning. Mercury is used in many areas of manufacturing and is present in dental and medical equipment. Because of the toxicity of acute and chronic exposure to metallic mercury, this metal is now used less and less in industry and attempts are made to remove it from household and medical equipment and appliances. Mercury is also present in fertilizers and pesticides.
Clinical use of Mercury
Mercury used to be used medically, for instance in the therapy of syphilis; however, with safer and more effective therapies, mercury has been abandoned as a primary therapy.
Toxicity of Mercury
Chronic methyl mercury exposure is associated with symptoms of weakness and fatigue, headaches, lower back pain, ataxia, slurred speech, tremor, somnolence and mental disturbances, including hallucinations and acute psychosis. Any involvement of the liver is overshadowed by the central nervous system toxicity.
Trace Elements in Tissues and Biologic Systems