Title: Effect of mercury on the human health and environment: an overview

Authors: Ahmad Khatoon-Abadi, A.R. Sheikh Hoseini, B. Khalili

Addresses: College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156, Iran. ' PhD students of soil science, Department of Soil Science, Agricultural Faculty, Isfahan University of Technology. ' PhD students of soil science, Department of Soil Science, Agricultural Faculty, Isfahan University of Technology

Abstract: This article aims to review and to demonstrate the effect of mercury on the human health and environment. Mercury is one of the 12 toxic pollutants identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency and can be toxic at low levels in the environment. Mercury can stay in the atmosphere for up to a year. When released to the air, mercury is transported and deposited globally. Mercury ultimately accumulates in lake|s bottom sediments, where it is transformed into its more toxic organic form, methyl mercury, which accumulates in fish tissue. Mercury is expected to have serious risks for human health, because it bio accumulates and persists in the environment. There are several ways to expose to mercury, such as breathing contaminated air, drinking contaminated water, consuming contaminated fishes, touching polluted subjects in home and job medias and other ways. Acute and chronic exposures have different effects on the human health. The polluting effect of mercury on the environment and human as a result of agricultural, medical, dental and industrial operations, is the main concern of this paper. Multiple sclerosis is a condition of the central nervous system that usually starts in early adult life. Mercury pollution must be considered globally but controlled locally. The polluting effect of mercury on the environment and humans as a result of agricultural, medical, dental, and industrial operations, is the main concern of this paper.

Keywords: acute exposure; ambient standards; bioaccumulation; children; chronic exposure; contamination; fish; heavy metals; mercury pollution; methyl mercury; multiple sclerosis; MS; pollutant; human health; environmental pollution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSNPH.2008.018854

International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2008 Vol.1 No.1, pp.33 - 50

Published online: 19 Jun 2008 *

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