The article “Our Preferred Poison” in the March 2005 issue of Discover magazine brings up the issue dealing with mercury poisoning. The author, Karen Wright, writes, “Mercury is unimaginably toxic and dangerous. A single drop on a human hand can be irreversibly fatal. A single drop in a large lake can make all the fish in it unsafe to eat.” This was the opening statement in the article which first grabbed my attention, because I had not thought mercury to be such a deadly substance. After all, it is used in thermometers, so I hadn’t thought it to be as fatally toxic as Wright claims it to be.
The people with the most risk of damage by mercury are unborn fetuses and children. Studies seem to show that the metal has the most negative effect on the developing brain, opposed to the mature adult brain. Some scientists speculate mercury could be the cause of autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease, amongst others. I don’t know how accurate or credible these studies are though. Throughout the article Wright states that no one is sure how little mercury can be ingested before the human body shows signs of poisoning. What scientists do know is the amount of mercury the human body cannot ingest. They found this out due to accidental ingestions of various people throughout the world.
The article mainly focuses on two types of mercury: methylmercury, which is found in most of the fish, and other seafood’s we eat, and alloys, call...
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- Mercury, a highly toxic metal that is the only one able to turn liquid at room temperature will either benefit or ruin lives. The name, Mercury, received from the fastest moving planet in the solar system. Mercury is an outrageously toxic metal that at one time could be considered to be therapeutic. Mercury acts as a base when it comes to acidic materials, due to the fact that it doesn’t react with most acids. Otherwise know as Hg comes from the Greek insignia. Mercury benefits people today by helping doctors take care of patients in everyday use.... [tags: Mercury, Lead, Mercury poisoning, Metal, Autism]
1125 words (3.2 pages)
- Do you know that you are taking a risk of obtaining cancer and disease every morning when you put on your skin-care and makeup. We all know mercury is often used in all kinds of measuring equipment. Mercury is a highly toxic element that is found both naturally and as an introduced contaminant in the environment (EA, Alhibshi). However, this element is even used in cosmetic products as well. Scientists testing on 73 different cosmetics including face and lip products have found that 44% of face creams and 43% of lipsticks have mercury (Greenfield, Paige).... [tags: Cosmetics, Human body, Mercury poisoning, Coal]
1295 words (3.7 pages)
- ... (www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=112&tid=24). Once mercury vapor particles are in the blood stream it can bind to the hemoglobin sight, where blood get its oxygen and deprive the rest of the body of from it. It also can take oxygen in the bloodstream to form divalent mercury (Hgll), which is when it can lose electrons, and bind to any group of proteins in the body or albumin. It also can bind to sights on the surface of the T cell and sulfhydrl groups, which can severely affect the immune system.... [tags: exposure, digestion, thermometers]
1261 words (3.6 pages)
- Introduction: A fifteen year old boy abruptly became ill; he experienced fatigue, headaches, tingling limbs, weakness, and weight loss. The only information provided stated that he had been using an acne cream prescribed by a dermatologist as well as an over the counter “beauty cream” to deal with skin irritation. The doctors could not find the reason for the boy’s illness, but interestingly a heavy metal was found in the boy’s urine. What could possibly be the heavy metal and could it have caused such a severe reaction.... [tags: Health, Chemistry]
2118 words (6.1 pages)
- Mercury in the Everglades Everglades Background Information: * Established in 1947 on 1.4 million acres in southwest Florida * Sunny, Semi-Tropical Swamp Setting. Experiences near daily downpours (http://srv3sftpa.er.usgs.gov/sofl.fact.html) Mercury's Effect on the Everglades: * A small amount of mercury is found in the crust of the earth. This is not the problem. The anthropogenic mercury is the problem. The mercury that is growing dangerously in size is known as methylmercury.... [tags: Geology]
724 words (2.1 pages)
- Mercury is a rare metal, which was discovered in 1500BC by the Ancient Egyptians. Since then, many cultures have believed that it holds supernatural powers, because it is liquid at room temperature and, therefore, looks magical. Contrary to what the ancient people believed, mercury is highly toxic and can cause many illnesses and eventually death. Despite its toxicity, mercury is very useful, and has been used for many things, from thermometers to helping to mine gold. Mercury is very valuable, because it has many uses.... [tags: metal, mining, toxic]
828 words (2.4 pages)
- Mercury Pollution Imagine that every fish you have been eating and every fish on the market is contaminated with mercury; would you want to take action to improve this situation in order for yourself and everyone else to have healthy fish to eat. Most of the fish today are exposed to mercury, and mercury toxicity threatens the health of everyone who eats fish. Mercury pollution has been a well known ocean pollution for many years, and United States remain to be one of the top nations with the most severe mercury contamination.... [tags: oceans, contamination, regulations]
1057 words (3 pages)
- Vaccinations, a common practice for most people, have been under the watchful eye in recent years. Many people have begun to question the ingredients of vaccines calling for clear labeling of ingredients as well as questioning the effectiveness and necessity of vaccines. This vaccine paranoia can be traced back to a paper published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield, a British Surgeon, who cited a link between the administration of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, more commonly referred to as the MMR vaccine, and autism.... [tags: Vaccination, Vaccine, Measles, Mercury]
989 words (2.8 pages)
- Mercury: A toxic poison No other metal better illustrates the diversity of effects caused by different chemical species than does mercury. On the basis of chemical speciation, there are three forms of mercury: elemental, inorganic, and organic compounds. The major source of mercury is the natural degassing of the earth's crust, including land areas, rivers, and the ocean, and this source is estimated to produce on the order of 2700 to 6000 tons per year. The total man made release into the atmosphere is about 2000 to 3000 tons, and it is difficult to assess what quantities of mercury come from human activities and what quantities from natural resources.... [tags: Chemistry Metal Papers]
3723 words (10.6 pages)
- Substances such as arsenic, barium, and cadmium are very widely known to be highly poisonous and fatal if they should come in contact with the human body. However, they are now open for the public to use, ingest and inhale. Now they are being made available at the local garbage dump. Because of improper disposal of electronic devices people who are homeless in search of food can easily become poisoned when searching in garbage dumps. Animals such as birds and roaming cats and dogs can also get hurt.... [tags: Environmental Issues]
1697 words (4.8 pages)