The Ultimate Dangers of Mercury Exposure Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Mercury exposure, in low doses, is relatively harmless and unavoidable. However, at higher doses mercury exposure can cause serious and irreversible health consequences, such as brain damage. Take this quiz and learn how to avoid mercury exposure and poisoning.

At room temperature, mercury is:

Mercury, or Hg on the periodic table with an atomic number of 80, is a silvery liquid substance at room temperature.


How much mercury does human activity put into the atmosphere each year?

Mercury emissions can occur naturally, such as in a volcano eruption. Human activity, however, produces far more mercury emissions, at a rate of 2,900 tons per year.


How do humans produce mercury emissions into the atmosphere?

Humans emit mercury into the atmosphere through a variety of activities, such as mining, manufacturing thermometers and powering coal-fired power plants.


What are the health consequences of mercury exposure?

Mercury is a neurotoxin, which means it can have detrimental effects on the brain. Exposure can also lead to physical and emotional disorders.


Why should you avoid throwing your florescent light bulbs into the garbage?

Florescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. If you throw a florescent light bulb into the garbage, the mercury will eventually seep in to the ground and end up in your drinking water. Recycle the florescent light bulb instead!


What is the most dangerous form of mercury exposure?

Mercury vapor is absorbed through the lungs, which allows a large portion of the mercury to reach your brain and cause serious damage.


How are most people exposed to mercury?

Most people are exposed to mercury through food products they eat. Ingesting small amounts of mercury, however, may produce little to no side effects.


What food source has the highest levels of mercury?

Mercury ingestion almost always comes from eating fish that has been contaminated with methylmercury.


How do bigger fish, such as tuna, get contaminated with methylmercury?

Larger fish, such as tuna, get contaminated with methylmercury by eating smaller sea life that is already contaminated. Smaller fish get contaminated with methylmercury from the water.


What type of fish have high mercury levels?

Fish such as king mackerel, tile fish and swordfish, have high mercury levels. These are predator fish with long lifespan.


What percentage of child-bearing women have unsafe mercury levels for a fetus?

In 2000, the United States Environmental Protection Agency stated that approximately 8 percent of child-bearing women have mercury levels that are unsafe for a fetus.


What are the symptoms of mercury poisoning?

There are several symptoms related to mercury poisoning, including memory, coordination and visuo-spatial problems, and cognitive and behavioral disabilities. Mercury poisoning symptoms associated with inhalation include: lung, kidney and gastrointestinal damage.


What are the immediate effects of mercury poisoning?

Get medical attention immediately if you experience impaired vision and speech, muscle weakness and reduced motor coordination. These are signs of mercury exposure and poisoning.


What are considered mid-range mercury exposure fish?

Eat mid-range mercury exposure fish sparingly, at most two to three servings per week. Mid-range mercury exposure fish include: grouper, Chilean sea bass, marlin, orange roughy and tuna.


Besides limiting fish intake, how else can you limit your mercury exposure risk?

Limit your mercury exposure by getting your loose fillings checked and fixed; properly taking care of a broken thermometer; avoiding Santeria and voodoo religious rituals; and staying away from mercury-filled Mexican jewelry.


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