Mercury

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  • Mercury
    • Released into environment from volcanic activity, weathering of rocks, human activity
      • Coal-fired power stations, industrial processes, waste incinerators and mining for gold
    • Factors affecting severity of health effects
      • Type of mercury, dose, age of person, duration of exposure
    • Elemental and methyl- mercury are toxic to central and peripheral nervous system
    • Inhalation of mercury vapour
      • Harmful effect on nervous, digestive and immune systems, lung and kidneys and may be  fatal
    • Inorganic salts - corrosive to skin, eyes and gastro intestinal tract. kidney toxicity if ingested
    • Neurological disorders
      • Tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuro muscular effects, headaches and cognitive and motor dysfunctions
    • Reducing Exposure
      • Use of clean energy sources
      • Eliminate mercury mining and use of mercury in gold extraction
      • Phase out non-essential mercury containing products e.g batteries, thermometers, skin lightning products and pharmaceuticals
      • Political agreement  - address mercury emissions and phase-out mercury containing products

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