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Mercury Poisoning

Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in small amounts in the environment. Mercury exists as a liquid, solid and gas and can be highly toxic if inhaled. 

Mercury can be found in:

  • Thermometers (those with a silver liquid contain mercury, those with a red or blue liquid do not contain mercury)
  • Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs
  • Thermostats and barometers  
  • Manual blood-pressure devices  
  • Some gas meters (mostly meters installed before 1961, which contain mercury-containing regulators)

Due to mercury content in fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recommended that pregnant women eat no more than two six-ounce servings per week of low-mercury fish, such as shrimp, canned tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.

Read more in the IPC blog.

The EPA has more information on mercury spills, disposal and site cleanup

Poison Center HelplineCalls are free and confidential.

  1. In Case of Emergency

    Call 911 if someone is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing.

  2. Remain Calm

    Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.

  3. Call the Helpline

    Call 1-800-222-1222 if you are concerned that you or someone else has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance.