The Problem | Who Is Most At Risk | The Effects
Among all populations, elemental and inorganic mercury intoxication can produce persistent and even irreversible neuropsychological effects.
These include personality alterations including psychoses, irritability, impatience, violent outbursts, hypercriticism, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, memory loss, problems concentrating, diffidence, indecision, and lack of affect.
Physical symptoms include tremors, a loss of hunger, weight and muscular control, speech impairment, anemia, uncontrollable salivation, gingivitis, and gum discoloration.
Arsenic poisoning may lead to diminished white and red blood cell count, irregular heartbeat and harm to the vascular system. Like mercury, it can also lead to birth deformities and can be transmitted through mother’s milk. Inorganic arsenic compounds may damage the kidneys and also lead to an increased risk of cancer.
Also like mercury, lead poisoning also affects the central nervous system and kidneys, and can lead to spontaneous abortions, reduced birth weights and birth defects. Even low levels of lead exposure by children can inhibit their cognitive and physical development.