Mercury is one of the most dangerous substances for human health. But, nevertheless, this poison is certainly present in every home. Energy-saving lamps, mercury thermometers, mercury-based paints are ordinary household items. The amount of liquid metal in the thermometers and lamps is small, but it is enough for a slow poisoning of the organism in case of damage to the fragile glass capsule.
Symptoms of mercury vapor poisoning
Metal itself, spilled in a prominent place is not so dangerous. If the mercury shedding area is small, it can be quickly collected and placed in a closed vessel. In this case, mercury poisoning is minimized. But even small balls of mercury, "hidden" in an inconspicuous place (cracks of parquet, carpet nap), evaporating, for a long time can surely poison those who breathe dangerous air. Mercury vapor also has a toxic effect on chemical industry workers in workshops where safety regulations are not complied with. Among the symptoms of acute poisoning with mercury vapor are observed:
- intense headache;
- metallic taste in the mouth;
- indigestion disorder;
- nausea and vomiting;
- bleeding gums;
- pain when swallowing;
- increase in the amount of saliva released;
- frequent coughing;
- labored breathing;
- increased body temperature;
- weakness and drowsiness;
- memory impairment;
Symptoms can manifest both simultaneously in a complex, and gradually one by one. They increase with increasing concentration of mercury in the body.
Mercury poisoning - treatment
Treatment of poisoning is reduced to the rapid and complete removal of mercury and its salts from the body, as well as to alleviate the general condition of the patient by removing symptoms and eliminating the effects of poisoning. It is not necessary to do this on your own without medication. Even with the necessary drugs, treatment should be carried out in a hospital. Attempts to cope with poisoning at home deprive precious time, prolong the effect of poison on all human organs and systems, thereby worsening the patient's condition. For treatment in the hospital use modern drugs that eliminate mercury from the body:
Physicians select drugs according to the degree of poisoning, the tolerance of the organism to certain substances, as well as the severity of the symptoms. If the ingestion of mercury or its salts has occurred, first aid in poisoning with mercury is cleansing the body of the remains of the swallowed substance. Thus it is necessary to urgently cause a vomiting and to wait arrival of an urgent medical aid.
Consequences of mercury poisoning
The longer the exposure of vapors or salts of mercury to the body, and also the more precarious the state of human health, the more serious the consequences of mercury poisoning. The risk group consists of children and pregnant women. Long-term inhalation of even small doses of mercury vapor initiates irreversible processes in the liver, kidneys, digestive organs and central nervous system. Mercury, which is in the body, itself is not derived from it. Gradually accumulating, it can lead to an inadequate function of vital organs and, as a consequence, to a fatal outcome.
Prevention of mercury poisoning
The most important thing in preventing poisoning by mercury and its vapors is a decrease in the probability of contact with a hazardous substance:
- Household items containing mercury should never fall into the hands of children.
- Mercury thermometers should be stored only in special plastic cases, thereby preventing the evaporation of mercury in the event that the thermometer is damaged.
- Spoiled lamps, thermometers should be immediately wrapped in polyethylene film and sent to the recycling centers.
- Do not throw objects containing mercury in places of general collection of garbage.
- At chemical plants that use pure mercury or in the form of salts, observe all safety measures. The most important protective equipment there is a respirator and special clothing.
- From the room where mercury was spilled, children and pregnant women should be immediately isolated. Work to collect liquid metal (demercurization) is better provided to specialists.