Mercury is toxic. In fact, mercury is the second-most toxic substance known to human biology on the planet. The only chemical worse is plutonium. Mercury poses a significant threat to public health, the environment, and the welfare of our communities.
According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), prolonged exposure to high levels of mercury can cause permanent brain or kidney damage.
The EPA has also identified mercuric chloride and methylmercury as carcinogens.
Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin. Everyone is at risk, but young children and developing fetus' can suffer the greatest harm. Mercury in a mother's blood can pass to the fetus and may result in severe neurological problems including birth defects, loss of IQ, learning disabilities, and other other developmental problems. Mercury has been associated with myriad gastrointestinal as well as autoimmune and cognitive problems.
Even low levels of mercury exposure can cause developmental problems in children.
Mercury can take many forms. These include elemental mercury (metallic), inorganic mercury (mercury combines with other elements to form "salts"), and organic mercury (mercury combines with carbon to form mercury compounds such as methylmercury). In the environment, elemental mercury can combine with chlorine, sulfur, and other elements to form inorganic compounds. Methylmercury can build up in water and soil causing them to become contaminated.
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