Acute Mercury Poisoning in a Group of School Children

Gunger O. , Ozkaya A. K. , Kirik S., Dalkiran T., GUNGOR G., Isikay S., ...Daha Fazla

PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY CARE, cilt.35, ss.696-699, 2019 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 35 Konu: 10
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1097/pec.0000000000001011
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.696-699


Objective Elemental mercury is a toxic liquid element that is used widely in the home, medicine, agriculture, and industry. It is readily vaporized and inhaled at room temperature. Thereby, inhalation can cause acute or chronic poisoning. Mercury can be found in environmental naturally find but some dangers sources give rise to contaminations. It can be very dangerous to all living organisms, especially children. Methods This study presents the features of mercury poisoning in a group of pediatric cases. Data were obtained for 29 pediatric cases exposed to elemental mercury in a high school chemistry laboratory in Turkey. Patients with a blood mercury level exceeding 10 mu g/L or a urine mercury level exceeding 15 mu g/L were considered to have mercury poisoning. The patients were treated with 2,3-dimercaptopropane sulfonic acid or D-penicillamine. Results Twenty-nine children with mercury poisoning were admitted to the hospital. The median duration of exposure was 58 (range, 15-120) minutes. Ten (29%) children were asymptomatic. Physical and neurological examinations were normal in 19 (65.5%) children. The most common presenting complaint was headache. The most common neurological abnormality, partly dilated/dilated pupils, was present in 9 (31%) children. Mercury levels were measured in blood samples every 5 days, and the median blood mercury level was 51.98 (range, 24.9-86.4) mu g/L. There was a positive correlation between the duration of exposure and maximum blood/urine mercury levels (P = 0.001). Conclusions Elemental mercury exposure is potentially toxic; its symptomatology varies, especially in children. Secure storage of mercury and other toxic substances and provision of information about this subject to individuals who might be exposed to mercury and their families might help to prevent mercury poisoning.