Mercury was the name of the Roman messenger of god who can move really fast. It is also called as quicksilver due to its fast movement and silvery tinge. Liquid metal state mercury (Hg) has little to no solubility and is not poisonous. But the liquid mercury can vaporize, and gaseous mercury becomes poisonous due to its nature of being absorbed into the blood. Mercury in +2 state is more poisonous due to high solubility. Mercury is the only metal that exists in liquid state at normal temperature and pressure. Mercury poisoning occurs by exposure to mercury, i.e., acute and chronic exposures. Symptoms of mercury poisoning depend on the type, dose, method, and duration of exposure. Mercury poisoning effects on the human body are not limited to reddishness of hands and feet; renal failures; cardiovascular, liver, brain, and hormonal issues; and intestinal ulceration. The present chapter describes the mercury sources, types of exposures, types of poisoning, treatments, and preventive measures of mercury poisoning.
Part of the book: Heavy Metal Toxicity in Public Health