What Are Some of the Effects of Mercury Exposure?


Quick Answer

While typically harmless if touched or swallowed, effects of elemental mercury exposure include metallic taste, vomiting, difficulty breathing, bad cough and swollen or bleeding gums, according to MedlinePlus. While breathing in enough elemental mercury may lead to acute symptoms right away, the effects may be chronic when occurring over time.

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Full Answer

Depending on the amount inhaled, permanent lung damage, long-term brain damage and death may also occur from prolonged exposure of mercury. Elemental mercury — also known as liquid mercury and quicksilver — is most commonly found in glass thermometers, electrical switches, fluorescent light bulbs, dental fillings and some medical equipment, explains MedlinePlus.

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