Mercury is known for its toxicity and for causing health problems around the world. So many people ask about what is dangerous and if you can actually touch mercury with your bare hands? The answer, surprisingly, is yes.
Mercury is not absorbed by our skin, so we can touch it without suffering any negative effects.
But just because the skin doesn't absorb mercury doesn't mean we can play with it.
If you have cuts and mercury enters your bloodstream, it is extremely dangerous. Another concern is if small droplets separate and turn into vapor. The skin can absorb mercury vapor, but inhalation is by far the easiest way for mercury to enter our bodies and accumulate there.
Η δηλητηρίαση από υδράργυρο είναι συχνά plusέπεια της συσσώρευσης του μετάλλου είτε μέσω αλάτων είτε μέσω οργανικών ενώσεων. Οι ανθρώπινες δραστηριότητες που απελευθερώνουν υδράργυρο στο περιβάλλον είναι η καύση άνθρακα και η εξόρυξη χρυσού.
Much of the mercury ingested comes from eating fish higher up the food chain that have accumulated mercury compounds by eating smaller fish. However, studies have shown that even with the risk of mercury accumulation, eating fish is still beneficial overall.
How dangerous is mercury?
Mercury is toxic, and while basic (elemental) mercury can be caught even with bare hands (if you take care of the above), there are inorganic mercury salts that are corrosive to the skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract.
What does mercury do to the body?
Mercury and its compounds affect the central and peripheral nervous system as well as the kidneys. It can cause kidney failure, tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches, and cognitive and motor dysfunction. Mercury poisoning has also been associated with its decline intelligences. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle weakness, poor coordination, and numbness in the hands and feet.
So yes, you can touch mercury with your bare hands, but that doesn't mean you should.