The Dangers of Mercury!

by Keelee and Becca

What is mercury? 💀

There are 2 different types of mercury:

  • inorganic: metallic kind
  • organic: methyl kind
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Sources of mercury 💀

  • found naturally in element form
  • mining
  • atmospheric deposition (mercury is released from combustion sources such as motor vehicle emissions)
  • volcanoes
  • volatilization

Methyl-mercury 💀

  • everyone has small amounts of mercury in their blood
  • consumption of fish and shellfish that have high levels in their tissues
  • effects: lack of coordination, impairment of speech, hearing, walking, muscle weakness

Elemental Mercury 💀

  • inhalation of the mercury vapor
  • effects: tremors, insomnia, disturbances in sensations, neuromuscular changes, headaches, changes in nerve responses
  • more exposure leads to kidney effects, and death

Prevention!! 💀

  • Promote cleaner energy sources
  • Eliminate mercury mining
  • Reduce use of mercury in products

What is mercury in? 💀

  • Batteries
  • Thermometers
  • Barometers
  • Lamps
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetics

Effects on Children 💀

  • infants in the womb are exposed when the mothers eat contaminated food
  • affects the infant's brain and nervous system
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How does it enter the food chain? 💀

  • bacteria takes out mercury in the inorganic form and convert it to methylmercury
  • bacteria are consumed by the higher levels in the food chain
  • animals accumulate higher concentrations of mercury at each level
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Where does it occur most often? 💀

  • Florida Everglades
  • types of wetlands
  • coastal wetlands
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • San Francisco Bay
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