The Dangers of Consuming Mercury In Drinking Water
Mercury is a dangerous element that has, sadly, been found several times in public drinking water. Whether or not you are drinking mercury should not be a concern you have when you drink your home’s water, but unfortunately, it is something you may need to worry about.
What is Mercury?
Mercury is a metallic element that can be found naturally. It is a silver-white color that is a liquid at room temperature.
How Mercury Gets Into Drinking Water
Mercury can find its way into drinking water a few different ways. Naturally, it can get into water through methods such as volcanic activity, and degassing of the earth’s crust. With the industrial revolution, there was a significant increase in the industrial usage of mercury. It is used in the production of some electrical appliances, medical products, and control instruments. It is found in some items such as batteries, thermometers, and some lamps. It is also released through the combustion of fossil fuels.
Health Effects of Consuming Mercury
Mercury is extremely dangerous to human health. Even short-term exposure to the elements can cause some severe kidney problems. It has been observed that mercury consumption can significantly increase the weight of a person’s kidneys and can lead to kidney failure. Mercury exposure can cause heart collapse and severe stomach damage. Some other symptoms it can cause is nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, swelling of the salivary glands, loosening teeth and shock. It can also cause neurological damage and affect brain function. These brain problems can include memory problems, irritability, and shyness tremors. Mercury consumption can cause changes in vision or hearing. It can also affect a developing fetus if consumed by a pregnant woman.
How To Know If Your Water Is Mercury Infected
The only way to know if your water has mercury in it is to have it tested. A water test can tell you if you are at risk of mercury poisoning or not. It is a good idea to have your water tested yearly, so even if you do not currently have this contaminant in your water or others, you can continuously stay up to date on the state of the water you are drinking.