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What causes mercury poisoning?

Mercury poisoning is caused by over-exposure to high levels of mercury. Ingesting food (like some types of fish) and liquids or inhaling air with high levels of mercury contamination may cause mercury poisoning.

Mercury is released naturally from the earth and from human activities, such as mining and manufacturing. Mercury comes in three forms, and each one is toxic to humans. Elemental or metallic mercury is liquid at room temperature and evaporates to become mercury vapor. Inorganic mercury forms a compound with another element, such as oxygen, and becomes a salt. Organic mercury combines with carbon, and its most common form is methylmercury.

Continue Learning about Mercury Poisoning

What do I need to know about caring for someone with mercury poisoning?
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How is mercury poisoning diagnosed?
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Can I get mercury poison from eating fish?
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Does mercury poisoning affect children differently than adults?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.