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Encyclopedia > Mercury poisoning
Mercury poisoning
Classification & external resources
Elemental mercury
ICD-10 T56.1
ICD-9 985.0
DiseasesDB 8057
MedlinePlus 002476
eMedicine emerg/813 
Part of a series on
Toxicology and poison
Toxicology (Forensic) - Toxinology
History of poison
(ICD-10 T36-T65, ICD-9 960-989)
Concepts
Poison - Toxicant - Antidote
Acceptable daily intake - Acute toxicity - Bioaccumulation -Fixed Dose Procedure - LD50 - Lethal dose - Toxic capacity - Toxicity Class
Toxins and venoms
Neurotoxin - Necrotoxin - Hemotoxin - Mycotoxin - Aflatoxin - Phototoxin
List of fictional toxins
Incidents
Bradford - Minamata - Niigata - Alexander Litvinenko - Bhopal
2007 pet food recalls
List of poisonings
Poisoning types
Elements
Lead - Mercury - Cadmium - Fluoride - Iron - Arsenic - Oxygen
Seafood
Shellfish (Paralytic - Diarrheal - Neurologic - Amnesic) - Ciguatera - Scombroid - Tetrodotoxin
Other substances
Pesticide - Organophosphate - Food - Nicotine - Theobromine - Carbon monoxide - Vitamin - Medicines
Living organisms
Mushrooms - Plants - Animals
Related topics
Hazard symbol - Carcinogen - Mutagen - List of Extremely Hazardous Substances - Biological warfare

Mercury poisoning (also known as mercurialism or hydrargyria, or acrodynia when affecting children) is a disease caused by exposure to mercury or its toxic compounds. Mercury is a cumulative heavy metal poison which occurs in its elemental form, inorganically as salts, or organically as organomercury compounds; the three groups vary in effects due to differences in their absorption and metabolism, among other factors.[1] However, with sufficient exposure all mercury-based toxins damage the central nervous system and other organs or organ systems such as the liver or gastrointestinal tract. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Acrodynia (or pink disease, erythredema, erythredema polyneuropathy, Bilderbecks, Selters, Swifts and Swift-Feer disease) refers to a condition of pain and dusky pink discoloration in the hands and feet most often seen in children chronically exposed to heavy metals, especially mercury. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1268x1012, 224 KB) Summary Picture I took of a small puddle of the element mercury. ... The periodic table of the chemical elements A chemical element, or element for short, is a type of atom that is defined by its atomic number; that is, by the number of protons in its nucleus. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. ... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) is a coding of diseases and signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or diseases, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO). ... // S00-T98 - Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-S09) Injuries to the head (S00) Superficial injury of head (S01) Open wound of head (S02) Fracture of skull and facial bones (S03) Dislocation, sprain and strain of joints and ligaments of head (S04) Injury of cranial nerves... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. ... The following is a list of codes for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ... The Disease Bold textDatabase is a free website that provides information about the relationships between medical conditions, symptoms, and medications. ... MedlinePlus (medlineplus. ... eMedicine is an online clinical medical knowledge base that was founded in 1996. ... Toxicology (from the Greek words toxicos and logos [1]) is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms [2]. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people. ... Forensic toxicology is the use of toxicology to aid medicolegal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use. ... Toxinology is the specialized area of toxicology that deals specifically with biological toxins, such as venoms or poisonous plants. ... The history of poisons (poison being defined as a substance that causes death or injury when swallowed or absorbed)[1] stretches over a period from before 4500 BC to the present day. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... A toxicant is a chemical compound that has an effect on organisms. ... An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. ... Acceptable Daily Intake or ADI is a measure of a specific substance (usually a food additive) in food or drinking water that can be ingested over a lifetime without an appreciable health risk. ... Acute Toxicity is a property of a substance that has toxic effects on a living organism, when that organism is exposed to a lethal dose of a substance once. ... If the input of a toxic substance to an organism is greater than the rate at which the substance is lost, the organism is said to be bioaccumulating that substance. ... The fixed-dose procedure (FDP) was proposed in 1984 to assess a substances acute oral toxicity using fewer animals with less suffering than the older LD50 test developed in 1927. ... An LD50 test being administered In toxicology, the LD50 or colloquially semilethal dose of a particular substance is a measure of how much constitutes a lethal dose. ... A lethal dose (LD) is an indication of the lethality of a given substance or type of radiation. ... Toxic capacity can mean the toxicity of a substance, possibly in relation to a specific organism and toxic capacity can mean the capacity of an organism, organic system or ecosystem to contain a toxic substance or a selection of toxic substances (a compound) without showing signs of poisoning or dying. ... Toxicity Class refers to a classification system for pesticides created by a national or international government-related or -sponsored organization. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Wasp sting, with droplet of venom Venom (literally, poison of animal origin) is any of a variety of toxins used by animals, for the purpose of defense and hunting. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins and ion channels. ... Necrosis (in Greek Νεκρός = Dead) is the name given to unprogrammed death of cells/living tissue (compare with apoptosis - programmed cell death). ... Hemotoxins are toxins that destroy red blood cells (hemolysis), disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. ... Mycotoxin (from Gk. ... Chemical structure of aflatoxin B1 Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus, most notably Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. ... Phototoxins are toxins that can cause allergic reactions in particularly susceptible individuals and which can cause dangerous photosensitivity in a much broader range of subjects. ... This is a list of toxins, poisons and chemical weapons from works of fiction (usually in fantasy and science fiction). ... The Bradford sweets poisoning was the accidental arsenic poisoning of more than 200 people in Bradford, England in 1858; an estimated 20 people died when sweets accidentally made with arsenic were sold from a market stall. ... Minamata disease ), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease ), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ... Main article: Minamata disease Niigata Minamata disease ) is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ... On November 1, 2006, former lieutenant colonel of the Russian Federations Federal Security Service Alexander Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised. ... The Bhopal Disaster took place in the early hours of the morning of December 3, 1984,[1] in the heart of the city of Bhopal, India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. ... Dogs and cats have been the main affected pets of the recall. ... This is a list of poisonings in chronological order of victim. ... Lead poisoning is a medical condition, also known as saturnism, plumbism or painters colic, caused by increased blood lead levels. ... Cadmium has no constructive purpose in the human body. ... In high concentrations, as with almost all substances, fluoride compounds are toxic. ... Iron poisoning is caused by an excess of iron in the blood. ... Arsenic poisoning kills by allosteric inhibition of essential metabolic enzymes, leading to death from multi-system organ failure. ... Oxygen toxicity or oxygen toxicity syndrome is severe hyperoxia caused by breathing oxygen at elevated partial pressures. ... There are four syndromes called shellfish poisoning, which share some common features and are primarily associated with bivalve molluscs (such as mussels, clams, oysters and scallops). ... 4 distinct shellfish-poisoning syndromes have been identified: Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) Neurologic shellfish poisoning (NSP) Diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP) Amnestic shellfish poisoning (ASP) All 4 syndromes share some common features and primarily are associated with bivalve mollusks (eg, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops). ... Diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP) is one of the four recognised symptom types of shellfish poisoning, the others being paralytic shellfish poisoning, neurologic shellfish poisoning and amnesic shellfish poisoning. ... Amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) is one of the four recognised syndromes of shellfish poisoning (the others being neurotoxic shellfish poisoning [1], diarrhetic shellfish poisoning [2] and paralytic shellfish poisoning). ... Chemical structure of the ciguatoxin CTX1B Ciguatera is a foodborne illness poisoning in humans caused by eating marine species whose flesh is contaminated with a toxin known as ciguatoxin, which is present in many micro-organisms (particularly, the micro-algae Gambierdiscus toxicus) living in tropical waters. ... Scombroid is a foodborne illness poisoning associated with eating seafood that has been stored improperly. ... Tetrodotoxin (anhydrotetrodotoxin 4-epitetrodotoxin, tetrodonic acid, TTX) is a potent neurotoxin with no known antidote, which blocks action potentials in nerves by binding to the pores of the voltage-gated, fast sodium channels in nerve cell membranes. ... Pesticide poisonings, where chemicals intended to control a pest affect non-target organisms such as humans, wildlife, or bees. ... Many organophosphates are potent neurotoxins, functioning by inhibiting the action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in nerve cells. ... Historically, most cases of nicotine poisoning have been the result of its use as an insecticide; however, such use is less frequent now than previously. ... Theobromine poisoning or chocolate poisoning is an adverse reaction to the alkaloid theobromine, found in chocolate, tea, cola beverages, and some other foods. ... Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after the inhalation of carbon monoxide gas. ... Vitamin poisoning, or hypervitaminosis, refers to a condition of high storage levels of vitamins, which can lead to toxic symptoms. ... A drug overdose occurs when a drug is ingested in quantities and/or concentrations large enough to overwhelm the homeostasis of a living organism, causing severe illness or death. ... The current version of the article or section is written like a magazine article instead of the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia. ... This is a list of plants containing poisonous parts that pose a serious risk of illness, injury, or death to humans. ... This is a list of organisms that are dangerous to humans. ... The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for poison. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ... In biology, a mutagen (Latin, literally origin of change) is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the number of mutations above the natural background level. ... This is a list of Extremely Hazardous Substances as defined by Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. ... For the use of biological agents by terrorists, see bioterrorism. ... The term disease refers to an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs function. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... Toxic redirects here, but this is also the name of a song by Britney Spears; see Toxic (song) Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... To bioaccumulate literally means to accumulate in a biological system. ... Heavy metals, in chemistry, are chemical elements of a particular range of atomic weights. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... Inorganic chemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. ... A magnified crystal of salt In chemistry, salt is a term used for ionic compounds composed of positively charged cations and negatively charged anions, so that the product is neutral and without a net charge. ... Benzene is the simplest of the arenes, a family of organic compounds An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon and hydrogen; therefore, carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and elementary carbon are not organic (see below for more on the definition controversy... Organomercury refers to the group of organometallic compounds containing mercury. ... In pharmacology (and more specifically pharmacokinetics), absorption is the movement of a drug into the bloodstream. ... A few of the metabolic pathways in a cell. ... A diagram showing the CNS: 1. ... An organ is the following: In anatomy, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ... In biology, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ... The liver is an organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. ... Upper and Lower gastrointestinal tract The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), also called the digestive tract, or the alimentary canal, is the system of organs within multicellular animals that takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and expels the remaining waste. ...


Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. The type and degree of symptoms exhibited depend up on the individual toxin, the dose, and the method and duration of exposure.


Due to its toxicity, there have been campaigns in many countries to ban mercury altogether. // Toxic and Intoxicated redirect here – toxic has other uses, which can be found at Toxicity (disambiguation); for the state of being intoxicated by alcohol see Drunkenness. ...

Contents

Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms include peripheral neuropathy (presenting as paresthesia or itching, burning or pain), skin discoloration (pink cheeks, fingertips and toes), edema (swelling) and desquamation. Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of the nerve or from the side-effects of systemic illness. ... Paresthesia or paraesthesia (in British English) is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a persons skin with no apparent long-term physical effect, more generally known as the feeling of pins and needles or of a limb being asleep (but not directly related to the phenomenon of... An itch (Latin: pruritus) is a sensation felt on an area of skin that makes a person or animal want to scratch it. ... “Hurting” redirects here. ... This page is about the condition called edema. ... Desquamation is the shedding of the outer layers of the skin. ...


Since mercury blocks the degradation pathway of catecholamines, epinephrine excess causes hyperhidrosis (profuse sweating), tachycardia, mercurial ptyalism (hypersalivation) and hypertension (high blood pressure). Mercury is thought to inactivate S-adenosyl-methionine, which is necessary for catecholamine catabolism by catechol-o-methyl transferase. Catecholamines are chemical compounds derived from the amino acid tyrosine that act as hormones or neurotransmitters. ... Adrenaline redirects here. ... Primary hyperhidrosis is the condition characterized by abnormally increased perspiration, in excess of that required for regulation of body temperature. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... Drooling (or ptyalism) is caused by saliva flowing outside the mouth. ... For the band, see Saliva (band). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... S-adenosyl methionine is an enzymatic cofactor involved in methyl group transfers. ... Anabolism is the aspect of metabolism that contributes to growth. ... Catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) (EC 2. ...


Affected children may show red cheeks and nose, erythematous lips (red lips), loss of hair, teeth, and nails, transient rashes, hypotonia and photophobia. Other symptoms may include kidney disfunction (e.g. Fanconi syndrome) or neuropsychiatric symptoms (emotional lability, memory impairment, insomnia). The word cheek can mean several things. ... For the article about nose in humans, see human nose. ... Erythema is an abnormal redness of the skin caused by capillary congestion. ... The mouth, also known as the buccal cavity or the oral cavity, is the opening through which an animal or human takes in food. ... For the film, see Hair (film). ... Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ... Anatomy In anatomy, a nail is a horn-like piece at the end of a humans or an animals finger or toe. ... Hypotonia is a condition of abnormally low muscle tone (the amount of tension or resistance to movement in a muscle), often involving reduced muscle strength. ... Photophobia (also light sensitivity) or fear of light, is a symptom of excessive sensitivity to light and the aversion to sunlight or well-lit places. ... The kidneys are organs that filter wastes (such as urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. ... Fanconi syndrome (also known as Fanconis syndrome) is a disorder in which the proximal tubular function of the kidney is impaired, resulting in improper reabsorption of electrolytes and nutrients back into the bloodstream. ... In psychology, memory is an organisms ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ... This article is about the sleeping disorder. ...


Thus, the clinical presentation may resemble pheochromocytoma or Kawasaki disease. A phaeochromocytoma (pheochromocytoma in the US) is a neuroendocrine tumor of the medulla of the adrenal glands originating in the chromaffin cells, which secretes excessive amounts of catecholamines, usually adrenaline and noradrenaline (epinephrine and norepinephrine in the US). ... Kawasaki disease, also known as lymph node syndrome, mucocutaneous node disease, infantile polyarteritis and Kawasaki syndrome, is a poorly understood self-limited vasculitis that affects many organs, including the skin and mucous membranes, lymph nodes, blood vessel walls, and the heart. ...


Causes

Mercury poisoning is caused by sufficient exposure to elemental mercury or mercury compounds.


Sources of exposure

Exposure to mercury can occur from breathing contaminated air.[2] The majority of mercury pollution in the atmosphere comes from industrial emissions, especially from the burning of fossil fuels (particularly high-sulfur coal), mercury mining and smelting, and chloralkali process plants; improper use or disposal of mercury and mercury-containing objects can also cause mercury exposure, for example, after spills of elemental mercury or improper disposal of fluorescent light bulbs.[3] Other sources of mercury vapour include crematoriums, waste incinerators, and volcanoes.[3] Fossil fuels are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sulfur, S, 16 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 3, p Appearance lemon yellow Standard atomic weight 32. ... Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... The chloralkali process is a redox reaction, an electrolysis of an aqueous solution of sodium chloride: 2 NaCl(aq) + 2 H2O(l) —→ 2 NaOH(aq) + Cl2(g) + 2 H+ + 2 e- 2 H+ + 2 e- —→ H2(g) The process is primarily used to produce chlorine, but one of its byproducts... A compact fluorescent lamp A fluorescent lamp is a type of electric lamp that excites argon and mercury vapor to create luminescence. ... Cremation is the practice of disposing of a corpse by burning. ... This article needs cleanup. ... For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ...


Mercury exposure can also occur by ingestion of contaminated food and water. The consumption of fish is by far the most significant source of ingestion-related mercury exposure in humans, although plants and livestock also contain mercury due to bioaccumulation of mercury from soil, water and atmosphere, and due to biomagnification by ingesting other mercury-containing organisms.[4] If the input of a toxic substance to an organism is greater than the rate at which the substance is lost, the organism is said to be bioaccumulating that substance. ... Biomagnification is a similar but distinct concept from bioaccumulation. ...


Mercury and many of its chemical compounds, especially organomercury compounds, can also be readily absorbed through direct contact with bare, or in some cases (such as dimethyl mercury) insufficiently protected, skin. Mercury and mercury compounds are commonly used in chemical laboratories, hospitals, dental clinics, and facilities involved in the production of items such as fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, and explosives.[5] Organomercury refers to the group of organometallic compounds containing mercury. ...


Toxic effects

Mercury damages the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, and other organs, and adversely affects the mouth, gums, and teeth. Exposure over long periods of time or heavy exposure to mercury vapor can result in brain damage and ultimately death. Mercury and its compounds are particularly toxic to fetuses and infants. Women who have been exposed to mercury in pregnancy have sometimes given birth to children with serious birth defects (see Minamata disease). Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... A diagram showing the CNS: 1. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The kidneys are organs that filter wastes (such as urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. ... “Unborn child” redirects here. ... Minamata disease ), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease ), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ...


Mercury exposure in young children can have severe neurological consequences, preventing nerve sheaths from forming properly. Mercury inhibits the formation of myelin, the building block protein that forms these sheaths.[6] Myelin is an electrically insulating phospholipid layer that surrounds the axons of many neurons. ...


There is some evidence that mercury poisoning may predispose to Young's syndrome (men with bronchiectasis and low sperm count).[7] Youngs syndrome which is also known as Azoospermia sinopulmonary infections, Sinusitis-infertility syndrome and Barry-Perkins-Young syndrome is a rare condition that encompasses a combination of syndromes such as bronchiectasis, rhinosinusitis and reduced fertility. ... Azoospermia is the medical condition of a man not having any measurable level of sperm in his semen. ...


Mercury poisoning in the young has been hypothesized as a cause of autistic behaviors.[8] This hypothesis is controversial, as much evidence suggests that about 90% of autism is explained by genetics.[9] The hypothesis has not been confirmed by reliable studies.[10] Autism is a brain development disorder that shows symptoms before a child is three years old and has a steady course with no remission. ...


Mercury poisoning's effects partially depend on whether it has been caused by exposure to elemental mercury, inorganic mercury compounds (as salts), or organomercury compounds.


Elemental mercury

Pure elemental mercury is moderately absorbed through the skin, rather poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract (often passing through unabsorbed), and readily absorbed as vapor through the lungs. The element is strongly toxic when absorbed as vapor from the respiratory tract, but it is considerably less so when exposure occurs via other routes. Beyond overall skin structure, refer below to: See-also. ... Upper and Lower gastrointestinal tract The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), also called the digestive tract, or the alimentary canal, is the system of organs within multicellular animals that takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and expels the remaining waste. ...


Organic mercury compounds

Compounds of mercury tend to be much more toxic than the element itself, and organic compounds of mercury are often extremely toxic and have been implicated in causing brain and liver damage. Brain damage or brain injury is the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. ... Hepatitis (plural hepatitides) implies injury to liver characterised by presence of inflammatory cells in the liver tissue. ...

  • The most dangerous mercury compound, dimethyl mercury, is so toxic that even a few microliters spilled on the skin, or even a latex glove, can cause death.[11][12] Dimethylmercury can be fatal within hours or less.[citation needed] One of the chief targets of the toxin is the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). The enzyme is irreversibly inhibited by several mercury compounds, the lipoic acid component of the multienzyme complex binds mercury compounds tightly (mercury binds to the sulfur atoms in lipoic acid) and thus inhibits PDH.
  • Through bioaccumulation in the environment, methyl mercury works its way up the food chain, reaching high concentrations among populations of some species. Larger species of fish, such as tuna or swordfish, are usually of greater concern than smaller species. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises women of child-bearing age and children to completely avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish and to limit consumption of king crab, snow crab, albacore tuna and tuna steaks to 6 oz. or less per week. However, there is no evidence that moderate consumption of fish in the U.S. poses a significant health hazard. One recent Harvard Medical School study of mothers and their infants suggests that the nutritional benefits of eating fish outweighs the potential drawbacks of methylmercury.[13] In the study, each additional weekly serving of fish consumed by the mother during pregnancy was associated with an increase in infant cognition.
  • Ethylmercury is a breakdown product of the antibacteriological agent thimerosal which has effects similar but not identical to methyl mercury.

Dimethylmercury ((CH3)2Hg) is a flammable, colorless liquid, and one of the strongest known neurotoxins. ... Look up micro- in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The liter (spelled liter in American English and litre in Commonwealth English) is a unit of volume. ... Pyruvate dehydrogenase is an enzyme (E1) in the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). ... Lipoic acid, also known as α-lipoic acid (alpha lipoic acid) or thioctic acid, has formula C8H14S2O2 and systematic name 5-(1,2-dithiolan-3-yl)pentanoic acid. ... If the input of a toxic substance to an organism is greater than the rate at which the substance is lost, the organism is said to be bioaccumulating that substance. ... Methyl Mercury is a highly toxic and bioaccumulative organic compound. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A shoal of skipjack tuna Tuna are several species of ocean-dwelling fish in the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. ... Binomial name Xiphias gladius Linnaeus, 1758 Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill in contrast to the smooth, round bill of the marlins. ... hi “FDA” redirects here. ... Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. ... Ethylmercury (sometimes ethyl mercury) is a cation that forms organomercury compounds such as ethylmercury chloride and ethylmercury urea. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Inorganic mercury compounds

Mercury occurs inorganically as salts such as mercury(II) chloride. Mercury salts primarily affect the gastro-intestinal tract and the kidneys, and can cause severe kidney damage; however, as they can not cross the blood-brain barrier easily, mercury salts inflict little neurological damage without continuous or heavy exposure.[14] As two oxidation states of mercury form salts (Hg+1 and Hg+2), mercury salts occur in both mercury(I) (or mercuric) and mercury(II) (mercurous) forms. Mercury(II) salts are usually more toxic than their mercury(I) counterparts because their solubility in water is greater; thus, they are more readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.[14] Mercury(II) chloride (also called mercuric chloride and corrosive sublimate) is a poisonous white soluble crystalline salt of mercury. ... The kidneys are organs that filter wastes (such as urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. ... The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a membranic structure that acts primarily to protect the brain from chemicals in the blood, while still allowing essential metabolic function. ... In chemistry, the oxidation state is an indicator of the degree of oxidation of an atom in a chemical compound. ... Solubility refers to the ability for a given substance, the solute, to dissolve in a solvent. ...


Treatment

The Standard of Care for mercury poisoning is chelation therapy using DMSA (in U.S.), DMPS and ALA (in Europe, Russia and former Soviet republics). A study of workers involved in the production of mercurous chloride, showed that the sodium salt of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS) was effective in lowering the body burden of mercury and in decreasing the urinary mercury concentration to normal levels.[15] In tort law, the standard of care is the degree of prudence and caution required of an individual who is under a duty of care. ... Chelation therapy is a process involving the use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. ... DMSA chelating an atom of mercury Dimercaptosuccinic acid, or DMSA, is the chemical compound with the formula HO2CCH(SH)CH(SH)CO2H. This colourless solid contains two carboxylic acid and two thiol groups, the latter being responsible for the mildly unpleasant odour of this dicarboxylic acid. ... Chemical structure of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid 2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid or DMPS is a chelating agent that forms complexes with various heavy metals. ... Lipoic acid, also known as α-lipoic acid (alpha lipoic acid) or thioctic acid, has formula C8H14S2O2 and systematic name 5-(1,2-dithiolan-3-yl)pentanoic acid. ... Chemical structure of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid 2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid or DMPS is a chelating agent that forms complexes with various heavy metals. ...


Alternative medicine makes use of these same substances along with others, such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid), EDTA and "high sulfur foods". However, it has been shown that inorganic mercury (Hg2+) bound to EDTA (a necessary step in EDTA-induced mercury chelation) forms a complex (HgEDTA) that is "potentially injurious to the neuronal cytoskeleton".[16] EDTA is a widely-used acronym for the chemical compound ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (and many other names, see table). ...


Some of the toxic effects of mercury are in some cases partially or wholly reversible, either through specific therapy or through natural elimination of the metal after exposure has been discontinued. However, heavy or prolonged exposure can do irreversible damage, particularly in fetuses, infants, and young children.


Prevention

Mercury poisoning can be prevented (or minimized) by eliminating or reducing exposure to mercury and mercury compounds. To that end, many governments and private groups have made efforts to avoid common hazards or to ban mercury altogether.


Regulations

  • There have been growing efforts to limit exposure from all sources. For children, these efforts have centered on reducing mercury exposure in its organic form by limiting consumption of contaminated fish such as tuna and swordfish, and fish caught from mercury-contaminated waters. (AAP advocacy)
  • As a precautionary measure, thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative is being eliminated from vaccines as quickly as manufacturers can alter their production processes and obtain FDA approval. (AAP advocacy)
  • AAP recommends that pediatricians stop using all mercury-containing devices, including thermometers, and encourage parents to do the same. (AAP advocacy)

Occurrences of mercury poisoning

  • From 1932 to 1968 methyl mercury was released into the sea around the city of Minamata in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. The toxin bioaccumulated in fish, which when eaten by the local population caused the largest case of mercury poisoning known. Minamata disease caused the deaths of over 1000 people and permanently disabled a great many more.
  • Another case of widespread mercury poisoning occurred in rural Iraq in 1971-1972, when grain treated with a methyl mercury-based fungicide that was intended for planting only was used by the rural population to make bread.
  • In December 1997, a chemistry professor, Karen Wetterhahn, working at Dartmouth College in the United States spilled a drop of dimethyl mercury on her latex glove. She began experiencing the symptoms of mercury poisoning within 5 months of the exposure and, despite treatment, died a few months later.[11][12]
  • In April of 2000, Alan Chmurny attempted to kill a former employee, Marta Bradley, by pouring mercury into the ventilation system of her car.[17]
  • The first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang Di, was driven insane and killed by mercury pills intended to give him eternal life.

Methyl Mercury is a highly toxic and bioaccumulative organic compound. ... Minamata (水俣市; -shi) is a city located in Kumamoto, Japan. ... Kumamoto Prefecture (熊本県; Kumamoto-ken) is located on Kyushu Island, Japan. ... Minamata disease ), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease ), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ... Methyl Mercury is a highly toxic and bioaccumulative organic compound. ... A Fungicide is one of three main methods of pest control- chemical control of fungi in this case. ... Chemistry - the study of interactions of chemical substances with one another and energy based on the structure of atoms, molecules and other kinds of aggregrates Chemistry (from Egyptian kÄ“me (chem), meaning earth[1]) is the science concerned with the reactions, transformations and aggregations of matter, as well as accompanying... Karen Wetterhahn was a well-known professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College specializing in toxic metal exposure. ... Dartmouth College is a private, coeducational university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, in the United States. ... Dimethylmercury ((CH3)2Hg) is a flammable, colorless liquid, and one of the strongest known neurotoxins. ... Chelation therapy is a process involving the use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. ... Ventilation good and very bad Ventilation is air circulation of air, typically between a room, a tunnel, etc. ... Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) (November or December 260 BC - September 10, 210 BC), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BC to 221 BC, and then the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC, ruling under the...

Acrodynia epidemic

For more details on this topic, see Acrodynia.

Acrodynia is a type of mercury poisoning in children characterized by pain and pink discoloration of the hands and feet. Also known as pink disease, erythredema, Selter's disease, or Swift-Feer disease, acrodynia was relatively commonplace amongst children in the first half of the 20th century.[18] Initially, the cause of the acrodynia epidemic among infants and young children was unknown; however, mercury poisoning, primarily from calomel in teething powders, began to be widely accepted as its cause in the 1950s and 60s.[18] The prevalence of acrodynia decreased greatly after calomel was excluded from most teething powders in 1954.[18] Acrodynia (or pink disease, erythredema, erythredema polyneuropathy, Bilderbecks, Selters, Swifts and Swift-Feer disease) refers to a condition of pain and dusky pink discoloration in the hands and feet most often seen in children chronically exposed to heavy metals, especially mercury. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... In epidemiology, an epidemic (from [[Latin language] epi- upon + demos people) is a disease that appears as new cases in a given human population, during a given period, at a rate that substantially exceeds what is expected, based on recent experience (the number of new cases in the population during... Calomel (chemical formula Hg2Cl2) is a mild chloride of mercury, a heavy, white or yellowish white substance, insoluble and tasteless, much used in medicine as a mercurial and purgative; mercurous chloride. ...


Medical procedures

Because elemental mercury often passes through the GI tract without being absorbed, it was used medically for various purposes until the dangers of mercury poisoning became known. For example, elemental mercury was used to mechanically clear intestinal obstructions (due to its great weight and fluidity), and it was a key ingredient in various medicines throughout history, such as blue mass. The toxic effects often were either not noticed at all, or so subtle or generic that they were attributed to other causes and were not recognized as poisoning caused by mercury. While the usage of mercury in medicine has declined, mercury-containing compounds are still used medically in vaccines and dental amalgam, both of which have been the subject of controversy regarding their potential for mercury poisoning. Blue mass was the name of a medicine prescribed, made, and sold in the United States in the 1800s. ... For other uses, see Amalgamation. ...


Thimerosal

For more details on this topic, see Thimerosal controversy.

Thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, has been added in very minute amounts to vaccines to prevent their deterioration since the 1930s.[19] No adverse effects of thimerosal have ever been proven, although some allergic reactions have been noted.[citation needed] However, organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that the use of thimerosal be reduced as a precautionary measure. Today, with the exception of some flu vaccines, none of the vaccines used in the United States to protect preschool children against twelve infectious diseases contains thimerosal as a preservative.[20] // Thimerosal controversy In recent years, it has been suggested that thimerosal in childhood vaccines could contribute to or cause neurodevelopmental disorders in children (most notably autism, but also other disorders on the PDD spectrum, such as ADHD). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of pediatricians, physicians trained to deal with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Dental amalgam

For more details on this topic, see Dental amalgam controversy.

In recent years, some concern has arisen about the potential toxicity of mercury amalgam in dental restorative procedures (i.e., in tooth fillings). This is discussed in Dental amalgam controversy. The Dental amalgam controversy is a debate over the use of amalgams, which contain mercury, as a dental filling. ... For other uses, see Amalgamation. ... The Dental amalgam controversy is a debate over the use of amalgams, which contain mercury, as a dental filling. ...


Mercury poisoning from cosmetics

Some skin whitening products contain the toxic chemical mercury(II) chloride as the active ingredient. When applied, the chemical readily absorbs through the skin into bloodstream.[21][22] The use of mercury in cosmetics is illegal in the United States. However, cosmetics containing mercury are often illegally imported. Following a certified case of mercury poisoning resulting from the use of an imported skin whitening product, the FDA warned against the use of such products.[23][24][25] Symptoms of mercury poisoning have resulted from the use of various mercury-containing cosmetic products.[26][27][28] The use of skin whitening products is especially popular amongst Asian women.[29] In Hong Kong in 2002, two products were discovered to contain between 9,000 to 60,000 times the recommended dose. [30] Skin whitening is a term covering a variety of cosmetic methods used to whiten the skin, in parts of East Asia, the Americas, the Middle East,[1] and Africa. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... The United States Food and Drug Administration is the government agency responsible for regulating food, dietary supplements, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, biologics and blood products in the United States. ...


Learning modules, data and hands-on activities

Mercury contamination in fish: A multi-disciplinary activity

Mercury contamination in Fish

This NISER activity presents an interdisciplinary study of the properties, effects and handling of mercury exposure (in the environment, plants, animals and humans). The activity includes sufficient background information about the physics, chemistry, biology and ethotoxicology of mercury, supplies a comprehensive dataset for mercury contamination in freshwater fish and demonstrates a variety of biochemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics web resources for interrogating such complex data. This activity will be useful in a variety of learning settings. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (792x612, 77 KB)†¿†== Summary == http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (792x612, 77 KB)†¿†== Summary == http://www. ... // The goals of the National Internet-based Science Educational Resource (NISER) are to design, validate and freely disseminate knowledge. ...


Cultural references

The Hatter as depicted by Tenniel The Hatter, popularly known as The Mad Hatter (though he is never actually given that name in the book) is a fictional character encountered at a tea party and later as a witness at a trial in Lewis Carrolls Alices Adventures in... A selection of 4 different felt cloths. ... The Bold and the Beautiful (often called Bold or annotated to B&B) is an American television soap opera, created by Lee Phillip Bell and William J. Bell. ... Sheila Carter Grainger Forrester Warwick was a fictional character who appeared on both The Young and the Restless and its sister soap The Bold and the Beautiful. ... Stephanie Forrester is an athlete from the United Kingdom. ... Serialized in Monthly Shonen Gangan Original run February 2002 – still running No. ... Adult Swim, sometimes rendered [adult swim] based on its logo, is the name for an adult-oriented television programming network. ... Metalocalypse is an animated television series on Adult Swim created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha. ... Prophecy is a 1979 horror film starring Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire and Armand Assante. ... Christopher Walken (born March 31, 1943) is an Academy Award-winning American film and theatre actor. ...

References

  1. ^ Sweet, Leonard I.; Judith T. Zelikoff (April 2001). "Toxicology and Immunotoxicology of Mercury: A Comparative Review in Fish and Humans". Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 4 (2): 161-205. Retrieved on 2007-08-03. 
  2. ^ ToxFAQs: Mercury. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1999-04). Retrieved on 2007-07-25.
  3. ^ a b Goldman, Lynn R.; Michael W. Shannon and the Committee on Environmental Health (2001-07). "Mercury in the Environment: Implications for Pediatricians". Pediatrics 108 (1): 197-205. Retrieved on 2007-07-25. 
  4. ^ United States Environmental Protection Agency (December 1997), Mercury Study Report to Congress, vol. 3, Washington, D.C.: United States Environmental Protection Agency
  5. ^ United States Environmental Protection Agency (December 1997), Mercury Study Report to Congress, vol. 4, Washington, D.C.: United States Environmental Protection Agency
  6. ^ http://movies.commons.ucalgary.ca/showcasetv/mercury
  7. ^ Hendry WF, A'Hern FPA, Cole PJ. Was Young's syndrome caused by mercury exposure in childhood? BMJ 1993;307:1579-82. PMID 8292944
  8. ^ Mercury-autism hypothesis:
  9. ^ Freitag CM (2007). "The genetics of autistic disorders and its clinical relevance: a review of the literature". Mol Psychiatry 12 (1): 2–22. DOI:10.1038/sj.mp.4001896. PMID 17033636. 
  10. ^ Rutter M (2005). "Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning". Acta Paediatr 94 (1): 2–15. PMID 15858952. 
  11. ^ a b The Karen Wetterhahn story - University of Bristol web page documenting her death, retrieved December 9th 2006
  12. ^ a b OSHA update following Karen Wetterhahn's death
  13. ^ Emily Oken, Robert O. Wright, Ken P. Kleinman, David Bellinger, Chitra J. Amarasiriwardena, Howard Hu, Janet W. Rich-Edwards, and Matthew W. Gillman (2005). "Maternal Fish Consumption, Hair Mercury, and Infant Cognition in a U.S. Cohort" (PDF). Environmental Health Perspectives 113 (10): 1376-80. PMID 16203250. 
  14. ^ a b Langford, N.J.; R.E. Ferner (October 1999). "Toxicity of mercury". Journal of Human Hypertension 13 (10): 651-656. Retrieved on 2007-07-31. 
  15. ^ D. Gonzalez-Ramirez, M. Zuniga-Charles, A. Narro-Juarez, Y. Molina-Recio, K. M. Hurlbut, R. C. Dart and H. V. Aposhian (1998). "DMPS (2,3-Dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate, Dimaval) Decreases the Body Burden of Mercury in Humans Exposed to Mercurous Chloride" (free full text). Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapy 287 (1): 8-12. 
  16. ^ Duhr EF, Pendergrass JC, Slevin JT, & Haley BE. HgEDTA complex inhibits GTP interactions with the E-site of brain beta-tubulin. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1993 Oct;122(2):273-80. PMID 8212009
  17. ^ Jose Antonio Vargas. "'Mad Scientist': On Court TV, Fatal Chemistry", The Washington Post, 2007-01-26. Retrieved on 2007-01-28. 
  18. ^ a b c Ann Dally (1997). "The Rise and Fall of Pink Disease". Social History of Medicine 10 (2): 291-304. DOI:10.1093/shm/10.2.291. Retrieved on 2007-08-01. 
  19. ^ (2003-10-30) "The Toxicology of Mercury — Current Exposures and Clinical Manifestations". The New England Journal of Medicine 349 (18): 1731-1737. Retrieved on 2007-08-03. 
  20. ^ NIP: vacsafe/thimerosal default redirect to ISO thimerosal page. Retrieved on 2007-07-24.
  21. ^ Counter, S. Allen (Dec 16, 2003), Whitening skin can be deadly, The Boston Globe
  22. ^ Mercury in Cosmetic Skin Whitening Creams
  23. ^ FDA Proposes Hydroquinone BanFDA bans hydroquinone in skin whitening products
  24. ^ Skin-lightening creams face FDA ban: Dermatologists defend treatmentFDA bans hydroquinone in skin whitening products
  25. ^ NYC Health Dept. Warns Against Use of "Skin-lightening" Creams Containing Mercury or Similar Products Which Do Not List Ingredients, Jan 27, 2005
  26. ^ Countera, S. Allen; Leo H. Buchanan. "Mercury exposure in children: a review". 
  27. ^ Clarkson; Thomas, Magos, Laszlo. "The Toxicology of Mercury and Its Chemical Compounds". 
  28. ^ Mahaffey, Kathryn R., Dynamics of Mercury Pollution on Regional and Global Scales
  29. ^ In a survey, 28% of Koreans and 50% of Philippians say that they use skin whitening products.Skin lightening in Asia? A bright future?
  30. ^ Bray, Marianne, SKIN DEEP: Dying to be white, CNN

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, (ATSDR), is directed by congressional mandate to perform specific functions concerning the effect on public health of hazardous substances in the environment. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... EPA redirects here. ... Nickname: Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: , Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - D.C. Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2... EPA redirects here. ... Nickname: Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: , Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - D.C. Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2... The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a medical journal published weekly in the United Kingdom by the British Medical Association (BMA). ... Medical Hypotheses is a monthly journal published by Elsevier. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Professor Sir Michael Rutter (b. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in Washington, D.C.. It is also one of the citys oldest papers, having been founded in 1877. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 205th day of the year (206th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

For other meanings, see heavy metal The term heavy metal may have various more general or more specific meanings. ... Lead poisoning is a medical condition, also known as saturnism, plumbism or painters colic, caused by increased blood lead levels. ... Minamata disease ), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease ), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ... Main article: Minamata disease Niigata Minamata disease ) is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
mercury: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (6768 words)
Mercury has numerous commercial uses—including its use in the extraction of gold from ores—and is an ingredient in alkaline batteries (approximately 0.025% of battery content), mercury vapor lamps, thermostats, and mercury amalgam fillings (in the United States, 50% of a dental filling is made of mercury).
Mercury is used in thermometers, barometers and other scientific apparatus, although the use of mercury in thermometers has been largely phased out in clinical and scientific environments (in favor of alcohol-filled, digital or thermistor-based replacements) due to concerns about the element's toxicity.
Mercury is still used in some cultures for folk medicine and ceremonial purposes which may involve ingestion, injection, or the sprinkling of elemental mercury around the home.
Mercury poisoning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1463 words)
Mercury poisoning, also known as mercuralism, is the phenomenon of toxication by contact with mercury.
Mercury intoxication in the young is suspected by some (for example Mark Geier) as a possible cause of autistic behaviors, although Geier has admitted there is no conclusive evidence to support his suspicion.
The enzyme is irreversibly inhibited by several mercury compounds, the lipoic acid component of the multienzyme complex binds mercury compounds tightly (mercury binds to the sulfur atoms in lipoic acid) and thus inhibits PDH.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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