Inorganic mercury / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization ; first draft prepared by L. Friberg
AbstractEvaluates recent research findings useful in assessing the risk to human health posed by the use of inorganic mercury in dental amalgam and in soaps and creams used to lighten the skin. Although such skin-lightening products are now banned throughout the European Economic Community, in North America, and in many African states, the report reveals that mercury-containing soap continues to be manufactured in several European countries, is sold as germicidal soap to the Third World, and is illegally re-imported from African countries to European cities having a substantial black population. Concerning exposure of the general population, dental amalgam and food, most notably seafood, are identified as the main sources of exposure. Although exposure of the general population is judged to be low, toxic levels may arise from the mishandling of liquid mercury, mercury dispensed from jars, broken thermometers, fluorescent lamps, and accidental ingestion of mercury batteries. The use of skin-lightening soap and creams results in substantial exposure. The most extensive sections review findings from toxicology studies in experimental animals and clinical reports and epidemiological studies in humans. Results from experimental studies show that inorganic mercury can induce autoimmune glomerulonephritis in all species tested, but not in all strains, indicating a genetic predisposition which is in good agreement with clinical findings. Experimental evidence of adverse effects on the menstrual cycle and on fetal development is also supported by observations in humans. Clinical manifestations of mercury poisoning are described in full detail. Concerning the health hazards posed by dental amalgam, no firm conclusions could be reached in the light of severe weaknesses in the design of most epidemiological studies. The book also includes information on reported levels of mercury vapour in dental clinics and the corresponding occupational risk to the dental profession
World Health Organization & International Programme on Chemical Safety. (1991). Inorganic mercury / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization ; first draft prepared by L. Friberg. Geneva : World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/40626
Environmental health criteria ; 118
DescriptionSummary and conclusions in French and Spanish
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Mercury : assessing the environmental burden of disease at national and local levels. / Jessie Poulin, Herman Gibb. Edited by Annette Prüss-Üstün Poulin, Jessie; Gibb, Herman; Prüss-Üstün, Annette; World Health Organization (2008)