Toxicity by Methyl Mercury

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Fatima Khalid

It is a bio accumulative environmental toxicant. Methyl mercury is formed from inorganic mercury by the act of anaerobic organisms that live in aquatic systems comprising lakes, rivers, wetlands, sediments, soils and the open ocean. This methylation proceduretrans forms inorganic mercury to methyl mercury in the natural environment. Methyl mercury is formed in aquatic systems and because it is not voluntarily eliminated from organisms it is biomagnified in aquatic food chains from bacteria, to plankton, through macro invertebrates, to herbivorous fish and to piscivorous fish. At apiece step in the food chain, the concentration of methyl mercury in the organism upturns.
The concentration of methyl mercury in the topmost level aquatic predators can touch a level a million times developed than the level in the water. This is because methyl mercury has a half-life of about 72 days in aquatic organisms’follow-on in itsbioaccumulationwithin these food chains. Organisms, including humans,fish-eating birds, and fish-eating mammals such as otters and whales that consume fish from the top of the aquatic food chain receive the methylmercury that has accumulated through this procedure. Fish and other aquaticspeciesare the only significant source of human methylmercury exposure. Ingested methylmercury is enthusiastically and entirely absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.
Several studies indicate that methylmercury is related to subtle developmental deficits in children exposed in-utero such as loss of intelligence quotient points, and declined performance in tests of language skills, memory function and attention deficits. Methyl mercury exposure in adults has also been related to increased risk of cardiovascular diseaseincluding heart attack.
—Islamabad

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