Overview of the clinical toxicity of mercury

Ann Clin Biochem 2006;43:257-268
© 2006 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Review Articles

Laszlo Magos and
Thomas W Clarkson

107 Boundary Road, Wallington, Surrey SM6 OTE, UK;
Department Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA

Mercury is ubiquitous in the environment and therefore everyhuman being, irrespective of age and location, is exposed toone form of mercury or another. The major source of environmentalmercury is natural degassing of the earth’s crust, but industrialactivities can raise exposure to toxic levels directly or throughthe use or misuse of the liquid metals or synthesized mercurialcompounds. The aim of this review is to survey differences inhuman exposure and in the toxicology of different forms of mercury.It covers not only symptoms and signs observed in poisoned individualsby a clinician but also subclinical effects in population studies,the final evaluation of which is the domain of statisticians.

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