Healthy Foods and Vitamins

Where is Mercury Found


Mercury is a liquid, shiny metal with a silver or white color. It does not have any smell. It also becomes colorless when heated. It also produces an odorless gas.

This metal is used in batteries and dental fillings. Its salt is also used in Manufacture of some creams and many other industries.

Where is mercury found

It is worth noting that the human nervous system is sensitive to mercury, and exposure to large quantities of it may cause damage to the brain and kidneys.

Sources of Mercury

Some rocks and coal: Burning coal causes the release of mercury into the air, in addition to burning hazardous waste, breaking products containing mercury, or other methods can cause the release of mercury into the environment.

Some fish: As mentioned previously, mercury is naturally present in the air, and may move from air to water, and there are some microorganisms that convert it into methylmercury, which is a highly toxic form that can accumulate in the bodies of some fish and shellfish, and among these fish are fish. Shark, swordfish, royal mackerel, kingfish, bigeye tuna, and others.

It is worth noting that many of these fish are used to cook sushi , and it can be said that the amount of mercury found in fish varies according to their type of food, their period of life, and their place in the food chain.

Mercury Gas: Metal mercury found in some products can be emitted into the air, especially in warm, poorly ventilated indoor areas. People may be exposed to inhaling this gas, and this may be dangerous.

Drinking water: Drinking water may be exposed to contamination with mercury through factories, waste dumps , agricultural lands, or exposure of drinking water to natural sources of mercury.

Thermometer: It is a device consisting of glass containing mercury inside, and there are two types of it: The first type is the rectal, oral, or children’s thermometer, which contains 0.61 grams of mercury. The second is the basal thermometer, which contains 2.25 grams of mercury.

This device is considered safe, but it may pose a danger if broken, as it may emit mercury gases. Toxic, so the American Academy of Pediatrics advises getting rid of thermometers that contain mercury, to avoid any harm.

Other sources: You can be exposed to mercury through some other sources, such as burning oils or wood that contain mercury, or using some methods to produce chlorine, and other methods.

Mercury Poisoning

Exposure to large amounts of mercury can cause poisoning, and this may cause many harms and symptoms, including the following:

Short-term symptoms: Exposure to mercury for a short period may cause some symptoms, including the following:

  • Irritation and damage to the lungs.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • diarrhea.
  • Hypertension.​
  • Numbness.
  • Skin rash.
  • Irritation to the eyes.

Long-term symptoms: Exposure to high amounts of mercury for a long period may cause some damage, including the following:

  • Brain and kidney damage.
  • Suffering from tremors and numbness.
  • Changes in hearing and vision.
  • Memory problems.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Death, in the case of chronic exposure to methylmercury.

Effect on children and infants: A pregnant mother eating fish or shellfish that contain methylmercury may cause problems in children and affect the development of their brains and nervous systems. Among the harms caused by exposure of fetuses to mercury during pregnancy, we mention the following:

  • Influence on cognitive thinking.
  • Problems with memory and attention.
  • Language problems.
  • Influencing motor and visual skills.

Safe Storage of Mercury

Many people may have some products that contain mercury in their homes, and these people must be careful and cautious when storing these products, in order to avoid leakage of the mercury contained in them, and some tips can be followed to store and transport mercury products safely, including the following:

Tips to Reduce Exposure to Mercury

Encouraging the use of clean energy: It is recommended to obtain energy in other ways instead of burning coal , which is one of the main sources of mercury in the atmosphere.

Avoid mining mercury, or using it in industries and extracting gold: This is because mercury is one of the metals that can be destroyed and disposed of, and therefore it can be recycled and used for other important purposes, without the need to resort to mercury mining.

It has also been found that using mercury in handicrafts or extracting gold It is considered dangerous to health, and therefore it is recommended to avoid these uses completely.

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I am Khaliq Alvi. Currently I am doing P.hd on Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Sorbonne University. Previously, I have also done masters in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology.

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