Mercury is a poisonous metal used commonly in products like thermometers, batteries, light bulbs and paint. When the body is exposed to high levels of this mineral, the brain, heart, immune system, lungs, and kidneys are harmed. Studies have shown that very young children and fetuses are more sensitive to the ill effects of mercury.
Mercury occurs in several forms. The elemental form is the one most people are familiar with – the liquid metal. The organic form, methylmercury, is made of a combination of mercury and carbon, often found in fish, shellfish and in animals that are primarily fish-eaters. The last form is the inorganic compound or salt, in which mercury is combined with other elements like oxygen or sulfur.
The exposure of most people comes from eating fish but it may also come from an unlikely source – the vaccine given to infants and children. The compound in question is called thimerosal, an organic compound containing mercury in the form of ethylmercury that has long been used to prevent the growth of dangerous microbes within the vaccine.
Although the body removes ethylmercury faster than methylmercury, the FDA removed thimerosal from all vaccines as a precautionary measure to diminish the total exposure of infants to mercury.
Like lead poisoning, mercury poisoning happens in the blood stream, which then circulates throughout the body and damage brain tissues.
If you suspect that you or a member of your family has been unwittingly exposed to mercury, and that this exposure caused you and your loved one injury, Jami S. Oliver, a leading hazardous products lawyer of Columbus, Ohio can help. Contact us at (614)220-9100 or fill out our online form.