Can mercury cause birth defects?
Furthermore, the fetal brain can incur damage despite the lack of signs of poisoning in the pregnant woman. In children, defects due to methylmercury can result in deficits in attention, behavior, cognition, and motor skills. Methylmercury has both natural and synthetic sources.
How much mercury is toxic in pregnancy?
Women should not consume excessive amounts of seafood in pregnancy (ie, no more than 2 weekly average size servings). Hair mercury level above 0.3 μg/g indicates a potentially excessive body burden.
How do you know if you have mercury poisoning while pregnant?
Blood and hair can be tested to determine exposure to methylmercury. Blood tests are good for detecting methylmercury right after exposure occurs. Hair testing may be able to detect ongoing (chronic) mercury exposure.
How many babies are affected by mercury?
The agency doubled its estimate, equivalent to 630,000 of the 4 million babies born each year, because recent research has shown that mercury tends to concentrate in the blood in the umbilical cord of pregnant women.
Can too much mercury cause miscarriage?
Studies in animal models and accidental poisoning in humans revealed that lead, cadmium and mercury resulted in miscarriages stillbirth and even fetal malformation .
Is mercury bad for pregnancy?
Though mercury can harm a developing baby’s brain, eating average amounts of seafood containing low levels of mercury during pregnancy hasn’t been shown to cause problems. And the omega-3 fatty acids in many types of fish can promote a baby’s healthy cognitive development.
How long does mercury stay in the body?
Mercury does not stay in the body forever. It takes about six months to a year to leave the bloodstream once exposure stops. Some researchers think mercury can permanently damage the nervous system in children.
How do you rid your body of mercury?
Mercury is also eliminated in urine, so drinking extra water can help to speed up the process. Avoiding exposure. The best way to get rid of mercury in your body is to avoid sources of it whenever you can. As you reduce your exposure, the level of mercury in your body will decrease as well.
How long does mercury stay in the brain?
The biological half-life of mercury is estimated to be approximately 30 to 60 days in the body . The half-life of mercury in the brain is not entirely clear, but is estimated to be as long as approximately 20 years.
How does mercury affect the brain?
Many studies show that high exposure to mercury induces changes in the central nervous system, potentially resulting in irritability, fatigue, behavioral changes, tremors, headaches, hearing and cognitive loss, dysarthria, incoordination, hallucinations, and death.