What is the Danger of Mercury?

Have you ever gotten a tooth filled at the dentist? Have you ever wondered what the dentist is filling your tooth with? Well, I have and I decided to look into it. I did not think, however, that I would come across many problems linked to tooth fillings. Many problems seem to occur because of an ingredient known as mercury in tooth fillings.

What is mercury?

Mercury, defined here is a liquid element that can be extremely poisonous to humans. Mercury is an extremely toxic element and can enter the body through an open wound or by inhaling or ingesting it. After it is taken into the body, it can cause damage to many things including the nerves and the liver and kidney. Mercury can be found in air, water, and soil. Mercury that is highly toxic can build up in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish. Other sources of mercury include fluorescent light bulbs, and mercury fever thermometers made of glass and silver dental fillings. Exposure to mercury at high levels can negatively affect the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system, as stated here.

How does mercury affect health?

Does mercury affect your health? The null hypothesis would be that mercury does absolutely nothing to your health. The alternate hypothesis would be that yes, mercury does affect your health in some ways. This website here states that mercury can greatly affect thyroid health because it can bind to any molecule in the body that contains sulfur, along with other sites in the cell. This can prevent certain enzymes from doing their job. Because mercury can easily bind to any molecule in the body, it can easily bind to the cells of the thyroid gland, which can result in a hypothyroid condition. Mercury gets in the way of many of the minerals necessary for thyroid hormone production. Another way mercury poisoning can occur is by eating too much fish that are rich in mercury. Although fish might be a favorite, there is always the risk of eating too much. here is a prime example of someone taking in too much mercury and getting mercury poisoning from it. The story tells of an television star whose diet was strictly fish. He ended up having to leave the show because he was in such poor condition.

So next time you eat fish, don’t be alarmed but simply be careful of how much you eat! Smaller fish are said to have less mercury and are not nearly as rich in mercury. There is no use in being frightened by this but now I know I will not be having fish everyday of the week!mercury-fish-blog

picture source: here

4 thoughts on “What is the Danger of Mercury?

  1. Daniella Cappello

    I typically eat tuna pretty often and many times people have said to me “watch out for the mercury”. I usually brush it off and promise myself I won’t have it more than once/twice a week, but that usually doesn’t happen. After reading this blog I will definitely be more cautious of my fish intake. I knew the dangers of mercury were real and pretty awful but this shed a new light on the subject.

  2. Daniel William Snyder

    I liked this article because I love to eat fish and I always thought eating fish was a very healthy choice. I never worried about the mercury inside of a fish. This article also started to get me to think however if people can adjust or if certain people can accept more mercury than others. Many societies eat a lot of fish and some native societies only ate fish so it makes me think if it affects them poorly as well. It also made me think is there any mercury in any other animals? This article talks about it. http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8517.html

  3. zvk5072

    Interesting blog and nice picture at the end. I always wondered what the health risk was when it came to mercury exposure in our atmosphere. I found this link that went into some more detail about some of the risks: http://www.dw.com/en/just-how-dangerous-is-mercury-anyway/a-16522491. Definitely encourage you to check it out. Good job on this blog though, I love reading about issues that are interesting, but someone wouldn’t necessarily think about.

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