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Date Modified: April 6, 2023

Mercury is a natural element. But it cannot get re-created as a human-made product. Also, it is an element that is poisonous and highly toxic to humans.

Dangers of Mercury dental work.
Mouth full of Mercuric fillings.

How Do You Know If You Have Mercury Poisoning?

Good question, right? I mean, how would you even know what to look for, right? So it goes like this.

  • When you or a loved one gets exposed, you need to look at the symptoms.

But what exactly are the symptoms?

There are three primary groups of mercury poisoning symptoms: 

  1. Elemental and vaporized mercury
  2. Organic mercury
  3. Inorganic mercury

Each of these chemical formulations can be found in different sources. And each can cause different types of negative health effects. So beware.

What are the Elemental and Vaporized Mercury Poisoning Symptoms?

Elemental mercury toxicity is often the result of vaporization.

The symptoms include:

  • Nervousness, mood swings, irritability, emotional problems
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Twitching and nervous sensations
  • Tremors
  • Muscle weakness
  • Atrophied muscles
  • The decrease in your overall cognitive functions.

Also, very high exposure to elemental mercury causes kidney and respiratory failure. Sometimes it can kill you.

What are Some of the Severe Side Effects of Organic Mercury Exposure?

When there is exposure to mercury, there can be severe side and health effects.

Hence, the severity of poisoning depends upon certain factors, including:

  • Total amounts of the chemicals in the form of mercury.
  • The amount of the dosage.
  • The duration of the exposure is also important.
  • Type of exposure, whether ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin.
  • The health of the individual who was exposed.
  • Age of the person exposed.

And if you suffered mercury toxicity, you may deserve financial compensation.

What is the Elemental Form?

The elemental form of mercury is known as:

  • Quicksilver or liquid mercury.

And it is an extremely dangerous toxin when airborne or inhaled.

Liquid mercury is found in many common households, medical, and personal items, such as:

  • Dental fillings
  • Glass thermometers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Electrical switches
  • Certain types of medical equipment.

Exposure to this form of mercury normally occurs, and immediate symptoms can happen when you breathe in elemental mercury.

If the amount of mercury exposure is small yet regular, symptoms can appear gradually.

Elemental Mercury symptoms with toxic levels of elemental mercury may include:

  • Headaches;
  • A metallic taste;
  • Insomnia;
  • Vomiting;
  • Mood swings;
  • A bad cough;
  • Swollen and bleeding gums;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Muscle atrophy.

There can be many adverse health effects in large dosages of elemental mercury exposure.

Examples include:

  • Brain damage
  • Permanent lung damage
  • Death

Hence, when you think you may be exposed, you must immediately see a doctor.

Even if you experience just a few symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.

  • After you get stabilized, it is important you speak with a toxic tort lawyer.

What About Organic Mercury?

Some people think “organic,” and they automatically think healthy and good. But here, just the opposite is true.

  • Organic mercury is often far more toxic to humans than elemental mercury
  • Also, it has compounds that include methylmercury.

Many government agencies say that methyl mercury is not a cause for alarm in small dosages.

  • But it is a compound commonly found in fish and shellfish.
  • So this means that it can also get found in small amounts in the body of the person who consumes these foods.

And in the United States, this is the most common form of mercury toxicity or poisoning. Also, it can be extremely dangerous for fetuses, infants, and children.

So even though it is an organic compound, it is very toxic. In fact, it is so terrible that organic mercury can impair the neurological development of the developing human.

What other types of mercury can poison you?

  • Fumes from burning coal
  • Thimerosal
  • Old antibiotic.

What are Some More Symptoms of Toxicity?

Toxicity and symptoms can occur with organic mercury. Typically this is if it gets ingested. But it can get inhaled. And if there is contact with the skin, you can get sick or even die.

  • A moderately extended amount of skin exposure time can cause minor health problems.
  • But in a large dose of exposure to this form of mercury has far-reaching hazardous effects.
  • But even exposure to small doses daily can be just as bad over time.

However, it may not have immediate symptoms. So it builds up slowly as you pass into failing health.

Furthermore, the symptoms from small daily exposure may not appear till several years later.

But for symptoms of long-term exposure, there can be neurological symptoms, including:

  • Numbness and pain in specific areas of the skin
  • Double vision
  • Memory difficulties
  • Tremors
  • Issues walking
  • Blindness
  • Seizures.

Large or severe cases of organic mercury poisoning can cause death. When this happens, the survivors will be looking for someone to sue for wrongful death. And this is how most of these bad exposure cases end up.

What is Inorganic Mercury? This form of mercury involves some mercury compounds and is found in certain households, personal and other items. And this is due to the compounds that are in inorganic mercury, including mercuric acetate, mercuric sulfide, mercuric chloride, and other compounds.

The household items this form of mercury is found in include:

  • Certain types of disinfectants
  • Skin creams
  • Certain health remedies
  • Batteries
  • Chemistry labs.

So Inorganic mercury can enter the body both through the skin or orally. And it is toxic once it enters the bloodstream.

Hence, it can cause damage in the:

  • Brain
  • Kidneys

The symptoms of toxicity include:

  • Skin rash
  • Burning in the throat
  • Burning in the stomach
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bloody vomit
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Mental disturbances.

What About Women Eating Fish and Pregnancy?

Many of you know that fish is brain food. And it is one of the best nutrient-rich food around.

  • But it could be deleterious if a pregnant woman consumes a contaminated quarry.

This is because methyl-mercury can enter the placenta, where it can enter the fetus’ brain.

  • This can cause irreversible brain damage. And even in a minute amount, it can result in developmental issues.

Hence, learning deficits and other types of developmental problems can arise. Also, the data from studies conducted shows one in six women in the U.S. had unsafe levels of mercury.

Did You Know that One in Three Kids Risks Mercury Womb Exposure?

Yes, it is true. At least one in three children is at risk for exposure to mercury in the womb. According to an EPA study released in February 2004, the mercury in the umbilical cord is high.

  • Of particular concern, it is near twice the amount found in the mother’s bloodstream.

Also, it showed pregnant women eating two meals of six ounces of fish per week had a 50/50 chance of the fetus dosing methyl mercury. So this is different from the previous government statement.

Then they said it was fine for a pregnant woman to eat two six-ounce servings of fish per week. But many scientists say that is not considered safe.

What About Military Base Mercury Poisoning?

El Torro Air Station, MCHS Tustin, and Camp Lejune have all had issues with toxic mercury. And that has gotten reported through the years. Even as late as 2012, 12 pounds of elemental mercury got discovered in one Marine Corps. Base.

Also, the water treatment plant at that base was offline for several weeks. All the while, the mercury clean-up took place. In the end, military and federal officials determined the contamination’s probable cause.

Ultimately, they asserted it was due to the removal of some water pressure meters in the 1980s. And they claimed that these meters contained elemental mercury.

How Do You Find an Excellent Mercury Poisoning Lawyer?

If you or a family member got subjected to mercury, it isn’t good. It may be possible to recover damages. Consulting the Ehline Law Firm website enables you to get educated.

But now it’s time to find the right lawyer for your mercury poisoning case. So that way, you can learn about your rights and legal options to pursue. Ehline Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your situation. Discuss your case with a mercury poisoning attorney toll-free at (213) 596-9642.

Citations: Health Effects – U.S. EPA: Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products – FDA Website: Marine Base Mercury Poisoning:

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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