Mercury poisoning

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Synonyms: Hydrargyria | Mercurialism | Mercury intoxication

Mercury poisoning is caused mainly through ingestion or inhalation of any of the 3 forms of mercury elemental organic and inorganic. Exposure to elemental mercury affects the pulmonary (inhalation of mercury vapors causes coughing chills fever shortness of breath) dermatological (mild swelling vesiculation scaling irritation urticaria erythema and allergic contact dermatitis accompanied by pain) and peripheral and central nervous (CNS) systems (depression paranoia extreme irritability hallucinations inability to concentrate memory loss hands head lips tongue jaw and eyelids tremors weight loss perpetually low body temperature drowsiness headaches insomnia fatigue). Exposure to inorganic mercury generally causes development of a metallic taste local oropharyngeal pain nausea vomiting bloody diarrhea colic abdominal pain renal dysfunction and neurologic abnormalities; while that to organic mercury can lead to delayed neurotoxicity.

Data from Orphanet are used to provide information on a disease's name, synonym(s), and overview. Reference: Access aggregated data from Orphanet at Orphadata. Orphadata: Free access data from Orphanet. © INSERM 1999. Available on http://www.orphadata.org. Data version May 2024

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