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Mercury

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Summary

Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If heated, it is a colorless, odorless gas. It also combines with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used in glass thermometers, silver dental fillings, and button batteries. Mercury salts may be used in skin creams and ointments. It's also used in many industries.

Mercury in the air settles into water. It can pass through the food chain and build up in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish. The nervous system is sensitive to all forms of mercury. Exposure to high levels can damage the brain and kidneys. Pregnant women can pass the mercury in their bodies to their babies.

It is important to protect your family from mercury exposure:

  • Carefully handle and dispose of products that contain mercury
  • Limit your consumption of fish with higher levels of mercury

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

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  • (Environmental Protection Agency) Also in
  • (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in

Related Issues

  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency) Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste)

Specifics

  • (Food and Drug Administration) Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) - Create maps showing locations of toxic chemical releases

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Women

  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
  • (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) Also in

Patient Handouts

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