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If you or a loved one have been a victim of mercury poisoning, don’t hesitate to contact one of our mercury poisoning attorneys in Orange County to discuss the details of your matter. We will provide you with free legal consultation to let you know if you have a case. Being a victim of mercury poisoning can be very traumatic, physically and emotionally. Silverthorne Attorneys is here to help you gain the maximum compensation possible to get your life back on track.
Most people are familiar with mercury in its most common form, the household thermometer. The truth is, most thermometers now use pigmented alcohol instead of mercury. Mercury poisoning (also known as hydrargyria or mercurialism) is a disease caused by exposure to mercury or its compounds. Mercury in its most natural form is slightly toxic, but its vapor, compounds and salts are highly toxic. This toxicity causes brain and liver damage when ingested, inhaled or contacted. Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. The type and degree of symptoms exhibited depend upon the individual toxin, the dose, and the method and duration of exposure. This is due to the fact that mercury is a bioaccumulative toxin that is easily absorbed through the skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tissues.
The consumption of fish in is by far the most significant source of ingestion-related mercury exposure in humans and animals, although plants and livestock also contain mercury due to bioconcentration of mercury from seawater, freshwater, marine and lacustrine sediments, soils, and atmosphere, and due to biomagnification by ingesting other mercury-containing organisms. Exposure to mercury can occur from breathing contaminated air, from eating foods that have acquired mercury residues during processing, from exposure to mercury vapor in mercury amalgam dental restorations, and from improper use or disposal of mercury and mercury-containing objects, for example, after spills of elemental mercury or improper disposal of fluorescent lamps. Read more about the levels of mercury in fish on the FDA’s website here.
Regulation of Mercury
The federal government has been monitoring mercury since the passage of The Clean Air Act in 1990. The Clean Air Act placed mercury on the list of toxic pollutants which require the greatest possible control and monitoring. Fifteen years later, the EPA passed a rule which took power plants off the list of sources which must reduce mercury to the maximum extent. Now power plants are not required to address the reduction of their mercury pollution until the year 2018. That EPA rule has completely undermined the purposes of The Clean Air Act and is currently being challenged by at least 13 states in court.
Thimerosal in Vaccines
Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound (an organomercurial). Since the 1930s, it has been widely used as a preservative in a number of biological and drug products, including many vaccines, to help prevent potentially life threatening contamination with harmful microbes. Over the past several years, because of an increasing awareness of the theoretical potential for neurotoxicity of even low levels of organomercurials and because of the increased number of thimerosal containing vaccines that had been added to the infant immunization schedule. The FDA has more on their website, please research this topic on the FDA’s website.