Symptoms of mercury poisoning is dangerousbroken mercury thermometer, treatment and prevention of poisoningmercury

Update: October 2018

Отравление mercury является одной из серьезных интоксикаций
the human body that leaves a number of negative
health effects. This condition is feared by adults and
children, especially panicking at the time of splitting household mercury
thermometers. In this article, we will understand what symptoms
проявляется хроническое и острое отравление mercury и при каких
it can really be obtained under circumstances.

Mercury characteristic

Mercury is a substance of the first class of danger. Is transitional
metal, a silvery-white liquid with a heavy
mass, the pair of which is very poisonous (in the conditions of the usual
living room temperature).

Metallic mercury as such has no toxic
effects on the body. But the pairs and soluble (especially
Organic) mercury compounds are very poisonous – refer to
cumulative poisons.

Even in small quantities, mercury can cause significant
health problems. Has a toxic effect on
digestive, nervous and immune systems, kidneys, liver, lungs,
skin and eyes. Поэтому при отравлении mercury, симптомы связаны с
violation of the functions of these systems and organs of the body.

Despite this, mercury is widely used in manufacturing and
industry. The most famous mercury item is a thermometer with
�“Silvery” middle core, which many people use to
body temperature measurements.

Poisoning, which occur as a result of breaking household
mercury thermometers are extremely rare and can occur in families,
completely neglecting the safety regulations or often
breaking thermometers without further demercurization. If a
произошло отравление mercury из градусника, симптомы, скорее всего,
will be chronic.

Acute poisoning of mercury is possible with random splitting.
large amounts of fluorescent lamps (see what to do if
broken energy-saving lamp).

Где человек может встретиться со mercury в повседневной
of life?

Несмотря на такую опасность металла, встреться со mercury не так
and simply, especially in such quantity, to get serious

  • Mercury is used in energy production.
    mercury electroplating batteries in metallurgy to obtain
    various alloys, in the processing of recycled aluminum,
    chemical industry as reagents in rural
    pesticide treatment plant – in this case poisoning
    mercury возможно в ходе профессиональной деятельности людей
    certain professions.
  • Earlier in dentistry silver amalgam was used, however with
    the invention of photographic materials this filling material is already
    excluded from use. One seal contains up to several hundred mg.
  • Mercury vapors are inside fluorescent lamps because couples
    glow in a glow discharge. Mercury content: 1-70 mg.
  • In medicine, metallic mercury is used as
    filling the thermometer because it is characterized by high
    thermal conductivity, does not wet the glass, and measurements are very
    accurate (up to 0.01 ° C). The thermometer contains up to 2 grams of mercury.
  • Elemental mercury as well as mercury compounds can
    accumulate in seafood, hundreds of times exceeding the content
    metal in water. Moreover, technological processing of seafood is not
    reduces mercury content in the product.

Таким образом, чтобы отравиться mercury, ее еще нужно поискать!
As some inquisitive people do, bringing home or in
garage unknown appliances or devices that may be
source of hazardous mercury vapor.

Иногда, крайне редко, хроническое отравление mercury
found in people who had long ago bought second homes, in
the cracks of the floors and walls of which was inexplicably caught
mercury there


With all this, special vigilance should be exercised – if
there was a “domestic catastrophe” – a thermometer or a mercury crashed
lamp (see detailed instructions – what to do if a mercury has broken
thermometer at home), you should perform a series of simple actions that
will protect you, your family and pets from poisoning

The specific effect of mercury vapor on the human body

Inhalation of air with mercury vapor at concentrations up to 0.25 mg / m³
leads to the accumulation of metal in the lung tissue. At higher
Mercury can be absorbed through intact skin. AT
depending on the duration of mercury intake and
Acute and chronic quantities of incoming metal
poisoning. AT отдельную категорию относят микромеркуриализм.

Symptoms of mercury vapor poisoning

Acute poisoning

The first manifestations are noted a couple of hours after
direct poisoning:

  • general weakness;
  • headache;
  • lack of appetite;
  • pain when trying to swallow anything;
  • metallic taste;
  • salivation;
  • bleeding and swelling of the gums;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting.

A little later arise:

  • very severe pain in the abdomen, diarrhea that is slimy with blood,
  • cough and shortness of breath – lung inflammation joins,
    qatar respiratory pathways, chest pain, severe chills
  • characteristic rise in body temperature up to 38-40 ° C.
  • in the urine in the study found mercury.

Симптомы отравления mercury одинаковы у взрослых людей и детей.
Only a child develops clinical symptoms faster.
the picture is brighter and help is needed immediately!

Chronic poisoning

Mercurialism is a common poisoning due to chronic
exposure to vapor and mercury compounds, far exceeding
regulations, for 2-5 months or years. Manifestations depend on
conditions of the body and nervous system:

  • increased fatigue;
  • gratuitous drowsiness;
  • general weakness;
  • dizziness;
  • migraine;
  • emotional disorders: self-doubt,
    shyness, depression, irritability.

There is a loss of self-control and memory loss, a decrease in
attention. A bright characteristic symptom gradually develops –
�”Mercurial tremor” of the fingers and toes, lips, eyelids, which occurs when
excitement. There is a desire for defecation and urination, a fall
smell, tactile sensitivity, taste, enhanced
sweating Significantly enlarged thyroid gland, marked
heart rate malfunctions, pressure drop.

Micromercurism – chronic poisoning as described above.
symptoms that occurs with the constant action of small
amounts of mercury over many (5-10 or more) years.

Последствия отравления mercury

  • In the absence of timely assistance, acute mercury poisoning
    may end in death.
  • People with chronic mercury intoxication cannot lead
    habitual way of life, become psychological disabilities.
  • Mercury is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.
    поскольку велик риск развития внутриутробной pathology.

Is it possible to detect excess concentrations of mercury vapor in

Of course, after any situation that carries the risk of exceeding
MAC of mercury in the air should invite an accredited laboratory
and take measurements (standard – no more than 0.0003 mg / m³).

There are also household tests that help roughly
estimate the concentration of mercury in indoor air (paper impregnated
selenium sulphide or monodist copper), allowing at 8-10
hourly observation to find out if there is an excess of MPC. They can
to purchase in the territory of the post-Soviet countries
estimated cost about 150 rubles.


Acute poisoning is treated only in hospitals, complex and
differentiated taking into account lesions. Chronic mercury poisoning
can be treated in the hospital, require sanatorium treatment and translation
to another job. Specific drugs are used for the treatment:
Unithiol, Methionine, Taurine, Dimercaptosuccinic acid, etc.


  • In case of accidental breaking of the thermometer or fluorescent lamp
    carry out the full range of necessary measures to eliminate the accident.
  • Людям, занятым в профессиях, предполагающих контакт с mercury,
    it is recommended to rinse your mouth with a solution of permanganate or chlorate
    potassium during the shift and after work.
  • When poisoning with mercury salts adsorbent is raw egg
    protein – several proteins should be taken orally.

Автор: врач-гигиенист, эпидемиолог

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