Mercury poisoning is the most pressing hazard of all industrial and household chemical contaminants. Mercury is a very strong toxic material, which under certain conditions begins to actively evaporate and form toxic fumes. Both in pure form and in any compounds, mercury threatens both health and human life in exactly the same way.
The threat from mercury is quite large due to its wide distribution in everyday life and in industry. That is why it is necessary to know the signs of mercury poisoning in order to take timely measures and prevent the development of dangerous consequences.
What can cause mercury poisoning?
The danger of mercury poisoning can even arise from an ordinary thermometer, which any family member can break by negligence. Especially danger increases when the contents of the thermometer were not removed in time.
Acute mercury poisoning can occur absolutely in the usual conditions due to simple pranks and inattention. In addition, there are other sources that pose a threat: mercury lamps, any equipment that includes mercury, batteries on a mercury-zinc base, fluorescent lamps with mercury elements, mercury valves in electrical networks and even paint with mercury pigment, called cinnabar , any of these items can cause mercury poisoning.
Signs of mercury poisoning from a thermometer
The occurrence of acute mercury poisoning from a thermometer occurs during the evaporation of this metal. Toxic mercury fumes are absorbed by light and exposed skin. If you stay for several hours in a room where mercury is spilled without protective equipment, signs of mercury poisoning will begin to appear.
- These include lack of appetite, pain when swallowing, general weakness, increased salivation, severe diarrhea, nausea, chills, fever up to 400C, abdominal pain, severe headache, nausea, shortness of breath, cough, inflammation of the airways, bleeding and swelling of the gums, metallic taste in the mouth, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue and weight loss.
- If mercury continues to affect the body, increasing its concentration, signs of mercury poisoning from a thermometer begin to increase. Hand shake is added to all initial signs.
- If manifested lethargy, minor headache and fatigue can be confused with signs of other diseases, then they begin to worsen. Each of these signs separately, if they are unable to accurately demonstrate mercury poisoning, together they unequivocally indicate this. Especially if the state of health deteriorates for no apparent reason and is accompanied by memory loss, shyness, irritability and insomnia.
- Acute mercury poisoning from a thermometer can be accompanied even by bloody vomiting, bloody stools and necrosis of the intestinal mucosa. When a large amount of mercury vapor enters the body and an acute loss of fluid can cause shock. Therefore, when the first signs of mercury poisoning appear, you should immediately seek help from a qualified doctor.
- Thermometers with mercury cannot be stored without a plastic case, left unattended and given to children. Mercury lamps and thermometers should not be thrown away with household garbage, so as not to jeopardize the health and lives of other people.
- When using mercury lamps must be well fixed and protected from possible damage.
- If a thermometer has broken, mercury should be isolated by closing the room and calling for specialists. The most important task is to prevent the spread of mercury vapor.
Be careful, using a thermometer, carefully watch the children. In case of signs of mercury poisoning, immediately consult a doctor.