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Mercury Toxicity and Health Effects
Mercury is very toxic. It is mostly known as a neurotoxin, meaning that it harms the brain and nervous system. However, mercury is also linked to kidney and liver damage and possibly cancer. Children are especially at risk because of their brains and bodies are still developing. Many of the health effects of mercury can be permanent.
When it rains, airborne mercury deposits into lakes and steams. Some of the mercury is converted into methyl mercury, a highly stable compound that contaminates our water and our marine life. The methyl mercury concentrates up the food chain, especially in certain fish where it can affect the health of people who eat them. Infants, children and pregnant or nursing mothers must take special precautions to minimize mercury exposure from fish.
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