Mercury toxicity and treatment: a review of the literature

J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:460508. doi: 10.1155/2012/460508. Epub 2011 Dec 22.


Mercury is a toxic heavy metal which is widely dispersed in nature. Most human exposure results from fish consumption or dental amalgam. Mercury occurs in several chemical forms, with complex pharmacokinetics. Mercury is capable of inducing a wide range of clinical presentations. Diagnosis of mercury toxicity can be challenging but can be obtained with reasonable reliability. Effective therapies for clinical toxicity have been described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chelating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chelation Therapy / methods
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Mercury / pharmacokinetics
  • Mercury / toxicity*
  • Mercury Poisoning / diagnosis
  • Mercury Poisoning / drug therapy
  • Mercury Poisoning / etiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Unithiol / therapeutic use


  • Chelating Agents
  • Unithiol
  • Mercury