Hazards Of Mercury Contamination On Health & Environment

Health care providers, policymakers, teachers, community leaders, parents, and children have a role in preventing children from role-playing in their environment.

Hazards Of Mercury Contamination On Health & Environment

Mercury contamination is a serious public health and environmental issue because methylmercury easily enters the bloodstream and has harmful effects on the brain. Mercury naturally exists in the environment. It is part of the composition. Crust may exist in the air, water, soil, aquatic sediments, and living plants and animals.

Mercury exists in several chemical forms, including elemental mercury (pure mercury), inorganic mercury, and organic mercury compounds. The element mercury is sometimes called metallic mercury. It is toxic and has a serious impact on the environment and humans, especially developing foetuses and babies.

Mercury pollution to the environment comes from natural, artificial, and historical sources. 1.5 ratios, anthropogenic mercury levels have almost doubled in the past 100 years, and about 70% have clearly exceeded the natural release of mercury.

UNEP classification Human sources are divided into the following three categories:

  1. Mobilising mercury impurities from it Coal-fired power plants, fossil fuel burning, or cement production.
  2. Intentional release of mercury, such as mercury mining, artisanal gold, and handicraft silver ore.
  3. Deliberate release combination and mobilising mercury impurities such as waste incineration and mining landfills.

Health Hazards in Humans and the Environment:

High levels of mercury contamination exposure can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune systems of people of all ages. Studies have shown that most people’s fish consumption does not cause health problems. However, it has been shown that high levels of methyl mercury in the blood of unborn babies and young children can damage the developing nervous system, making it impossible for children to think and learn.

Women of childbearing age around the world have been found to contain high levels of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that can seriously harm unborn children. Women on the Pacific islands are the most polluted. This is because they rely on eating fish, which concentrates mercury pollution in the oceans around the world, most of which comes from burning coal.

The most extreme level comes from places in Indonesia where mercury is used in large quantities for small-scale gold mining and fish are often eaten. This gold mining has caused serious mercury pollution and is also the source of damage to women in Kenya, Paraguay, and Myanmar.

Millions of women and children are condemned in communities that use gold to mine gold. Future exposure to mercury can harm the health of adults and damage the brains of their offspring.

Mercury contamination in the Pacific Islands is serious because we eat fish. But I don’t want to be told not to eat fish. Coal-fired power generation is one of the main sources of mercury pollution in the ocean and is a true crime. It is time to phase it out. “There is widespread mercury pollution in marine and freshwater systems around the world”.

Birds and mammals that eat fish are more exposed to mercury than other animals in the aquatic ecosystem. Similarly, predators that eat fish and other animals may be highly exposed. At high levels of exposure, the harmful effects of methyl mercury on these animals include death, reduced reproduction, slow growth and development, and behavioural abnormalities.

The presence of methyl mercury (inorganic mercury that is altered by bacteria in the natural environment) affects the food chain of the entire ecosystem. Plants absorb toxins and are then fed by insects and fish that eat plants, while insects and fish are eaten by carnivorous and fish-eating animals, including songbirds, waterfowl, and humans.

Management of Mercury:

Some management strategies to manage mercury in our society, such as

  • The FDA works with states and tribes to help parents, nursing mothers, expectant mothers, and women who may become pregnant reduce their exposure to mercury when choosing and consuming fish and shellfish. Women and young children can benefit from eating fish and shellfish by adhering to the recommendations, and they can feel secure knowing that their exposure to methyl mercury’s negative effects has been reduced.
  • The Clean Water Act requires states and tribes to compile lists of water bodies that are too contaminated to fulfil the requirements for water quality they have established. Then, plans must be developed by the states and the tribes to lower the pollution levels in these bodies of water.
  • Select mercury-free products to use and purchase.
  • To reduce the amount of mercury that dental clinics discharge into public wastewater treatment facilities. The final rule mandates that amalgam separators, which remove and collect amalgam so that the mercury in it may be easily recycled, be installed in dental practices that insert or remove amalgam fillings.
  • Public water systems must make sure that the amount of mercury in your drinking water does not go over the MCL. Taking into account cost, benefits, and the capacity of public water systems to detect and remove contaminants using appropriate treatment technology, MCLs are set as closely as feasible to the health goals.
This article is jointly authored by Rao Muhammad Sajjad Sharif, Shahid Majeed and Kaynaat Akbar.