Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature. It could be as simple as touching someone’s cheek or face,” Simone says. The best action to do if you touch mercury is to seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel fine and aren't experiencing any obvious effects. If mercury is swallowed most of it passes through your body and very little is absorbed. You’ll usually find that nothing works to repair the irritation, unlike with other rashes and itchiness. The inhalation of elemental mercury vapours can cause neurological and behavioural disorders, such as tremors, emotional instability, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular changes and headaches. But as you wade through the beauty aisles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that you should avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury. I recommend that people check if their products are free from toxic chemicals at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database . Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site. [1] Previously, opinions existed that removing the skin of seafood may significantly reduce the exposure to merc… Breathing mercury vapors in air is the most common way to be exposed to elemental mercury, and is the most harmful to your health. Some communities have special collections or other options for disposing of hazardous household waste. “In the year 1843, the American Society of Dental Surgeons (ASDS), founded in New York City, declared use of amalgam to be malpractice because of the fear of mercury poisoning in patients and dentists and forced all its members to sign a pledge to abstain from using it.” However, it s… Organic mercury: also called methylmercury, this is the type of mercury found in seafood. You may feel tired, weak, or have muscle pains. Some people – including pregnant women, nursing babies and young children – are especially vulnerable to mercury toxicity, he adds. If you’re using a mercury-laden skin lightener, the product may cause skin rashes, scars, discolored skin, anxiety, or depression. Also, keep in mind mercury exposure can affect your mental state, so don't assume your personal assessment of your health is valid. In addition, exposure to mercury affects the central nervous system, damaging the brain, liver, kidneys, and blood. There’s no single mercury detox method. If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it—and you should stop using the product immediately. The .gov means it’s official.Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. “Many of these products are coming into the country through illegal channels,” he says. Some effects of mercury contact can be immediate, but the effects of mercury exposure also may be delayed. High exposures have also led to deaths. Mercury can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys. FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions where there are no other safe and effective preservatives available – conditions that these products do not meet. Clearly, mercury toxicity is VERY serious business! That’s also a sign that the product may be marketed illegally. Newborns who nurse are vulnerable because mercury is passed into breast milk. How Do You Test For Mercury Poisoning? By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, The Most Toxic Elements on the Periodic Table, Why You Should Not Mix Alcohol and Bleach, How Sarin Nerve Gas Works (And What to Do If Exposed), How to Make a Sulfuric Acid Formula at Home, 5 Environmental Consequences of Oil Spills, Chronic Mercury Poisoning from a Single Brief Exposure, Mercury: Spills, Disposal and Site Cleanup, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. Fish depend on their nervous systems to find food, communicate, migrate, orient themselves and recognize predators. When that happens, the mercury stays in tissues and does damage. The mercury in these types of products can be absorbed through your skin. It can also strange crawling sensations and reddening of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. If your mercury levels reach a certain point, your doctor will have you do chelation therapy. Inorganic mercury: you can think of this form of mercury as a result of corrosion. Mercury is often found in cosmetics marketed as "anti-aging" or "skin lightening" that claim to remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. New cases of mercury poisoning have also been connected to certain skin lightening face creams (2a). 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