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mercury poisoning

 

Definition: a disease usually caused by the ingestion or inhalation of mercury or mercury compounds, which are toxic in relation to their ability to produce mercuric ions; usually acute mercury poisoning is associated with ulcerations of the mouth (including loosening of teeth), stomach, and intestine in addition to toxic changes in the renal tubules; anuria and anemia may occur; respiratory distress and pneumonia can follow inhalation; usually chronic mercury poisoning is a result of industrial pollution; causes gastrointestinal or central nervous system manifestations including stomatitis, diarrhea, headaches, ataxia, tremor, hyperreflexia, sensorineural impairment, and emotional instability and sometimes delirium.

Synonym(s): hydrargyria, hydrargyrism, mercurialism

See Also: Mad Hatter syndrome

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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