Saturday, A. Mercury and its Associated Impacts on Environment and Human Health: A Review. (1991) Human Exp Toxicol 10(3): 199–203. 7. (1984) Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 75(1): 18–24. The damage has vast implications with human beings at the top of food chain getting the worst of the deal owing to biomagnifications (Azimi & Moghaddam, 2013). Both acute and chronic Hg, exposures may result in human poisoning. Morel, F.M., Kraepiel, A.M., Amyot, M. The chemical cycle and bioaccumulation of mercury. Dentists should reduce or eliminate the use of mercury amalgam and use pre-encapsulated amalgam instead of mixing their own if they are to continue using amalgam. The polluting gases mentioned above have an interesting effect on climate. (2001) Brain Res Bull 55(2): 197–203. The impacts of mercury exposure are discussed in the subsequent sub-sections. Anthropogenic release occurs from manifold industrial point sources and is estimated to constitute 2,320 tons of mercury emitted annually into the atmosphere (Nicola Pirrone et al., 2010). 34. Impacts of Mercury on Environment and Human Health. Environmental impacts of mercury: The majority of mercury emissions to air are in the form of gaseous elemental mercury, which can be transported globally to regions far from the emissions source. 2000). 2002). In particular, such exposures can cause coughing, dyspnea, fever, tremors, malaise, axonal sensor motor polyneuropathy, gingivitis, hallucinations and mercurial erythrism, a syndrome that includes excitability, loss of memory, insomnia and neurocognitive disorders (Guzzi and La Porta 2008). (2018) J Environ Health Sci 4(2): 37- 43. Thermometers and sphygmomanometers contain mercury and so do many medical batteries, fluorescent lamps, and electrical switches. For instance annually, volcanic and geothermal activities release an estimated 1,500 tons of mercury to the environment (Maria et al., 2017; Sundseth et al., 2017). Mercury is applied in several different aspects including Batteries (Bernardes, Espinosa, & Tenório, 2003), measuring and control equipment: medical and other thermometers, blood pressure gauges, manometers, pressure valves, gyroscopes, Discharge lamps like fluorescent lamps, laboratory chemicals, electrodes and apparatus for analysis, color photograph paper, slimicides for paper production, explosives, fireworks, color photograph paper, pharmaceuticals: preservatives in vaccines and eye drops, disinfectants; skin lightening creams and soaps; herbal medicine, cosmetics: biocides in eye cosmetics, arm and leg bands, pesticides, especially for seed dressing. Damage to the nerves of the arms and legs has been reported in employees with high exposures. . Given steady environmental concentrations, mercury concentrations in individuals of a given fish species tend to increase with age as a result of the slow elimination of methylmercury and increased intake due to changes in trophic position that often occur as fish grow to larger sizes (i.e., the increased fish-eating and the consumption of larger prey items). vapors may be either acute or chronic. 42. 1998). Nagpal, N., Bettiol, S.S., Isham, A., et al. ). The nervous system is very sensitive to all forms of mercury. (1961) Acta Derm Venereol 41: 40–52. Sources of Hg exposure resulting from human enterprise include industrial consumption of fossil fuels, cement production and incineration of solid wastes, contact with topical medicines, thermometers, barometers, and batteries, in addition to medical waste incineration, Hg-based substances used in ritualistic practices and dental amalgams (Maria et al., 2017; N. Pirrone et al., 2001). Hormones that appear to be the most affected by mercury are insulin, estrogen, testosterone, and adrenaline. Studies in Hong Kong demonstrated that increased mercury levels were associated with infertility in both men and women (Dickman, Leung, & Leong, 1998). Environment management agencies should expand existing national research on environmental and health effects of mercury. Research suggests that mercury induces autoimmune processes (Schiraldi & Monestier, 2009), and may be mutagenic at low concentrations (Schurz et al. (1999) Sci Total Environ 227(2–3): 249–256. Chronic exposure may induce symptoms from the central nervous system (CNS) including tremors, delusions, memory loss, and neurocognitive disorders. 14. These forms have a shorter atmospheric lifetime and will deposit to land or water bodies within roughly 100 to 1,000 kilometers of their source. (1994) Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 58(15): 3191–3198. The allowable mercury level set by World Health Organization (WHO) for drinking water is 1 μgL-1 (Azimi & Moghaddam, 2013). Natural sources include weathering of rocks and from geological movements. Mercury is classified as a heavy metal (atomic weight 200.59) and is well known as being among the most toxic of metals (World Health Organization, 2007). There is need for Environment management agencies, for instance, NEMA (for Uganda) to expand existing national research on environmental and health effects of mercury. More mercury was found in the neurons compared to the glial cells, and the mercury had accumulated in lysosomes. Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology. Ingested mercury may undergo bioaccumulation leading to progressive increases in body burdens. In light of these historic events and the toxicological evidence presented in this review regarding the systemic effects of mercury include neurological, endocrine, reproductive, and embryonic development, and efforts should be made to insure adequate steps are taken to reduce the occurrence of mercury exposure and raise public awareness. 40. Inorganic mercury can also be absorbed, but is generally taken up at a slower rate and with lower efficiency than is methylmercury. Mercury has profound neurological, endocrine, reproductive, and fetotoxicity effects. The longer people breathe the contaminated air, the greater the risk to their health. Mercury vapor and female reproductive toxicity. (2006). Martinez, C.S., Peçanha, F.M., Brum, D.S., et al. National inventory of mercury release into different environmental sectors estimated by united nations environment programme (UNEP) toolkit in Costa Rica. . No significant deposition of mercury was found in the head region for the first 58 days. The amount of Hg mobilized and released into the environment has increased since the beginning of the industrial age. Mercury is a chemical element that is harmful to human health and the environment. from dental amalgams is inhaled as a vapor into the lungs, about 80% is absorbed (Joachim Mutter et al., 2010). can remain suspended in the atmosphere for up to 1 year, where it can be transported and deposited globally. 24. In females, mercury has been shown to inhibit the release of FSH and LH from the anterior pituitary which in turn can affect estrogen and progesterone levels leading to ovarian dysfunction, painful or irregular menstruation, premature menopause, and tipped uterus (Chen et al., 2006). (2007) AMBIO 36(1): 33–44. Hursh, J.B., Clarkson, T.W., Cherian, M.G., et al. (2009) J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev 12(3): 206–223. Global mercury emissions to the atmosphere from anthropogenic and natural sources. For more information, see Chapter 5: Impacts of mercury on the environmentÂ. In females, mercury has been shown to inhibit the release of FSH and LH from the anterior pituitary which in turn can affect estrogen and progesterone levels leading to ovarian dysfunction, painful or irregular menstruation, premature menopause, and tipped uterus (Chen et al., 2006). There is need to encourage dentists to reduce or eliminate the use of mercury amalgam and use pre-encapsulated amalgam instead of mixing their own if they are to continue using amalgam. Preliminary critical limits to prevent ecological effects due to mercury in organic soils have been set at 0.07-0.3 mg/kg for the total mercury content in soil. The biomagnification of methylmercury has a most significant influence on the impact on animals and humans. Artisanal mining might sound quaint, but it is usually criminal activity and results in widespread environmental damage. (1994) Environ Sci Technol 28(13): 2233–2241. Elemental mercury exposure from the air is readily taken up through the lungs and about 74% is retained in the human body (Hursh et al., 1976). Hg) which is toxic enough to cause death if only a few microliters is spilled on the skin, or even latex gloves (Joshi et al., 2012). Domagalski, J.L., Alpers, C.N., Slotton, D.G., et al. Health Effects Associated with Exposures to Mercury Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system of people of all ages. Immunotoxic effects could potentially enhance susceptibility to infections, to malaria (Silbergeld et al., 1998) or immunologically-mediated diseases (McCabe & Lawrence, 1994). (2001) Atmos Environ 35(17): 2997–3006. Methylmercury exposure and reproductive dysfunction in the nonhuman primate. The metabolism of inorganic mercury compounds is explained. Impact of pollution with lead, mercury, and cadmium on the immune response of Oreochromis niloticus. (2006) Chem Res Toxicol 19(8): 1080–1085. Work place exposure may occur in many types of industries, where major uses of elemental mercury include chlorine-alkali manufacture, dental amalgams, electronic switches and fluorescent lamps. The amount of Hg mobilized and released into the environment has increased since the beginning of the industrial age. It is thought that mercury might impair endocrine function through its ability to reduce hormone-receptor binding (Iavicoli et al., 2009). Global Mercury Assessment report, Summary of the Report, Chapter 5: Impacts of mercury on the environment. Source & ©: UNEP Global Mercury Assessment report, Summary of the Report, Chapter 5, paragraphs 67 to 70 Eide, I., Syversen, T.L. Immunotoxic effects could potentially enhance susceptibility to infections, to malaria (Silbergeld et al., 1998) or immunologically-mediated diseases (McCabe & Lawrence, 1994). More mercury was found in the neurons compared to the glial cells, and the mercury had accumulated in lysosomes. Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. This summary is free and ad-free, as is all of our content. Safety evaluation of certain food additives. Bernardes, A.M., Espinosa, D.C.R., Tenório, J.A.S. Mercury is also considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a highly dangerous element because of its accumulative and persistent character in the environment. Organic mercury compounds, especially methylmercury or [CH3Hg]+, are found in the environment. 16. In addition to reproductive issues, mercury is also associated with the fetotoxicity which can present as miscarriage, spontaneous abortions, stillbirth, and low birth weights (Aaseth, Hilt, & Bjørklund, 2018; Yoshida, 2002). In 1990, emissions are estimated to have been 11,272 pounds. 44. (Azimi & Moghaddam, 2013). A number of body organ systems are affected by mercury in various forms. In a study of fur-bearing animals in Wisconsin, the species with the highest tissue levels of mercury were otter and mink, which are top mammalian predators in the aquatic food chain. form. 21. Reduced fertility among dental assistants with occupational exposure to mercury has been noted (Nagpal et al., 2017). Hong Kong male subfertility links to mercury in human hair and fish. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems (Azimi & Moghaddam, 2013). (2017) Open J Air Poll 6(2): 76. Hg pollution is primarily due to human activities. Muhlendahl, K. Intoxication from mercury spilled on carpets. Based on articles reviewed, we recommend community education on need for a reduction in use of products that contain mercury. Although most countries recognize the need to combat mercury pollution, controls are either nonexistence or inadequate. 35. In blood, the elemental mercury is oxidized to mercuric mercury partly under the influence of catalase (Carocci et al., 2014) and this influences brain uptake of mercury (Carocci et al., 2014). Chen, Y.W., Huang, C.F., Tsai, K.S., et al. 2000). the degree to which they are absorbed through cell membranes, are distributed within the cell and bind to cellular macromolecules. Most of the methylmercury in fish tissue is covalently bound to protein sulfhydryl groups. Despite the toxicity of mercury (Hg) for organisms in the environment, little is known on its impact on the soil microbiome, especially its chronic effect. Although all forms of mercury can accumulate to some degree, methylmercury is absorbed and accumulates to a greater extent than other forms. Both acute and chronic Hg° exposures may result in human poisoning. Pre-encapsulated amalgam eliminates the need for elemental mercury in the dentist’s office and the spills and dangers associated with elemental mercury. (2012) Exp Toxicol Pathol 64(1–2): 103–108. Inorganic mercury exposure can also induce Kawasaki disease (Mutter & Yeter, 2008), which results from impairment of the immune system. Inorganic mercury, derived from industrial release and from contaminated water, is biomethylated (in the aqueous environment and by phytoplankton in the ocean) to methylmercury (MeHg), primarily by sulfate-reducing bacteria (Morel et al. Many of the signs and symptoms associated with slight poisonings will eventually disappear after the exposure ends. 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Castoldi, A.F., Coccini, T., Ceccatelli, S., et al of Hg. chapter,... Grant, K.S., et al chemical cycle and bioaccumulation of mercury was found in the region... Species, such as mercuric chloride and methylmercury exposure to sunlight ( specifically ultra-violet light has... Yeter, D., Mittal, D.K., Shukla, S., al. Younger fish of the immune system C., Grant, K.S., et al ultra-violet light ) an. Its accumulation in the liver, brain, kidney, followed by its accumulation the! Is therefore regarded as non-hazardous because of the long-range transport of organic mercury compounds have been observed forms because mercury... Is among the alkyl compounds, both the methyl and ethyl mercury can. Potential for devastation is apparent and must be dealt with if we are to continue mercury... S disease, acrodynia, and electrical switches alarming — even low levels cause... All mercury species are toxic, with organic mercury compounds are also for! 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