Mercury is an extremely toxic material. And this metal and all its compounds are the 1st, most high, class of hazard. Especially dangerous organic mercury compounds. It is curious that in itself is metallic mercury is practically no adverse effects on the body - the most dangerous of its pair. However, do not hurry to rejoice: mercury is the only metal that starts to evaporate even at room temperature is +18°C! Moreover, to detect mercury vapor is possible only with the help of special instruments, since they are colorless and have no smell.
For a living organism there are no safe doses of vapors of this insidious metal. This is why it is dangerous to disregard a broken home thermometer or fluorescent lamp: small droplets of mercury can fall to tiny balls-droplets and roll into crevices and other hard-to-reach places, where it will begin to evaporate and to poison every living thing around.
Mercury that enters the human body, is brought out very slowly, and is distributed to all organs. When inhaled it accumulates primarily in the lungs, and then in the blood, liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and in the brain.
Depending on the amount of mercury trapped in the organism and duration of its effects are acute and chronic mercury poisoning.
Acute mercury poisoning is relatively rare - they occur when receiving a large dose of mercury for a short period of time. But even acute poisoning begin to appear only a few hours after poisoning (from 8 to 24). People feel a metallic taste in the mouth, nausea, lack of appetite. Begins headache, vomiting, pain when swallowing, the gums swell and bleed. There are strong pain in the abdomen, often diarrhea, cough, shortness of breath may develop inflammation of the lungs; the temperature rises to 38-40°C. After a few days of death.
More common chronic mercury poisoning (called mercurialism), which arise, for example, by prolonged overexposure to high concentrations of mercury vapor or prolonged contact with substances containing mercury. They manifest themselves mainly the Central nervous system: patients experience weakness, fatigue, have frequent headaches and dizziness, worsening attention, develops "mercury tremor - shaking hands, fingers, feet, lips, develop mental problems - irritability, apathy, weak self-control. In the later stages of chronic mercury poisoning these violations become irreversible and lead to dementia and death.
Chronic mercury poisoning in the past has befallen those who had to deal with the compounds of this metal by the nature of their work, because more recently, people had no idea that mercury is a terrible poison. Moreover, mercury and its compounds was part of some medicines!
Remember the mad Hatter from tales L. Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland"? It is not just the author's imagination, and play popular in England the expression "mad as a Hatter". Already had noticed the signs of the disease, which has been called "the disease of the old Hatter". It had all the signs of chronic mercury poisoning, until dementia. And the fact that in the 18th and 19th centuries slapnicka used mercury compounds for the production of felt.
Another historical fact of mercury poisoning, which was opened in our time, is connected with the name of Ivan the terrible. Examining the remains of the king, the researchers found in the highest concentration of mercury is 13 g per 1 tonne, whereas normally in humans, mercury content in tissues does not exceed 5 mg per ton. The difference in 2600 times! Conclusion chronic mercury poisoning. The reason could be the prolonged use of mercury ointments that Ivan the terrible used to relieve pain in the joints. Chronic mercury poisoning can be the key to the riddle of unbridled nature of the Russian Tsar-tyrant: as you already know, this disease of the nervous system becomes unstable, which may occur, including, in excess of distrust, suspiciousness, hallucinations and - outbreak of unbridled anger, in a fit of which Ivan the terrible once killed his son.
"Ivan the terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581"
("Ivan the terrible kills his son")
The output of the narrated one: don't mess with mercury! If your house is broken thermometer or fluorescent lamp, immediately take precautionary measures, which rely to prevent mercury poisoning.