CURRENT APPROACHES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF MERCURY TOXICITY
*Dr. Jagdish Kumar Anant and Dr. S. R. Inchulkar
Mercury poisoning cases have been reported in many parts of the world, resulting in many deaths every year. Mercury compounds are classified in different chemical types such as elemental, inorganic and organic forms. Long term exposure to mercury compounds from different sources e.g. water, food, soil and air lead to toxic effects on cardiovascular, pulmonary, urinary, gastrointestinal, neurological systems and skin. Mercury level can be measured in plasma, urine, feces and hair samples. Urinary concentration is a good indicator of poisoning of elemental and inorganic mercury, but organic mercury (e.g. methyl mercury) can be detected easily in feces. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are a rapid, cheap and sensitive method for detection of thymine bound mercuric ions. Silver nanoparticles are used as a sensitive detector of low concentration Hg++ ions in homogeneous aqueous solutions. Besides supportive therapy, British anti lewisite, dimercaprol (BAL), 2, 3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA. succimer) and dimercaptopropanesulfoxid acid (DMPS) are currently used as chelating agents in mercury poisoning. Natural biologic scavengers such as algae, azolla and other aquatic plants possess the ability to uptake mercury traces from the environment.
Keywords: Quick silver, Mercury compounds, Acute & chronic poisoning, Minamata disease, Chelating agents, Medicolegal aspects, etc.
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