Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Killer Thermometer

I never knew the mercury inside the glass thermometer is so harmful. It is on today's local newspaper i found that if accidental spilt of glass thermometer occurs, it can cause serious poisoning effects on human body. We have been using glass thermometer for so many years which contains the most lethal ingredients. Mercury, silvery liquid like metal, easily turns into vapour at normal room temperature(i.e 22-24 degree Centigrade) and when someone inhales it, it gets absorbed into the human body.



It's very common that we ignore the accidental breakage of glass thermometer. The mercury which can be easily absorbed by our skin into the blood stream, leading to tremors, nausea and blurred vision. Mercury is a neurotoxin which attacks the human nervous system and brain. it is more fatal on growing children than on adults. It can cause coma and death in many cases. Other symptoms mostly seeen on adults are tremors,headaches,blurred vision, poor concentration, hair loss and nausea. But, it takes 6 months or more for the body to naturally secretes the mercury only if he/she has no exposure to it.


In Asia, many doctors and health practioners still uses thermometer whereas it is learnt that westerners have already stopped or banned it's clinical use due to it's risk to human health.

According to Ravi Agarwal,head of the Delhi-based environmental group Toxics link,"Just one gram of mercury is enough to contaminate a 20 acre lake and make the fish unfit for eating. That is the kind of toxicity of mercury." So, we can calculate how dangerous it could be,using glass thermometer. Anyone in the vicinity could be the victim of mercury poisoning. So, the only way out is to use Digital thermometer.

Two months ago, I bought Digital thermometer, it is very safe and scientific. The measurement can be taken in degree or fahrenheit units and it is more accurate than glass thermometer. I urge everyone to discard the use of glass thermometer and be digital,be safe. Get digital thermometer from your neareset medical store.

3 comments:

speed said...

Well finally some chemistry ...

At some time it was belived that Nepoleon suffered from mercury poisoining . this would explain his strange moods . When tests were done in his hairs it was found that it contained arscenic which also had similar affects to mercury poisioning .

Mercury has a strong affinity for sulpher and for shulphydryl group (-SH) groupin the cystalin units of protine .
Alkyl-mercury compounds ,such as methyl mercury ethonate are particullarly dangerous because they form strong covalent bond with sulphydryl group . The alkyl mercury compounds replace the hydrogen in the(-SH) groupd with alkyl-mercury groups. The attachment of a mercury atom to the protine can seriously alter its properties . protines play an important part in cells as enzymes which catalyse bilogical processes and as constituents of cell membrane . thus , the binding or attraction of mercury to sulpher in protens can inhibit the activity of enzyme and also interfere with the movement of materials across cell membrane .

Mercury and its compounds ar not the only poisions amongst metals. barium , lead , arsenic , other heavey metals and their compounds are also pisonous to animal and plants . they all act as a same way to mercury .

There are evidences to som famous people like Napoleon , Charles 2 may have dies by metal poisioning .

The madness and shakes caused due to mercury poisioning is also called hatter's shakes or hatter's madness because mercury poisioning was common in felt hatters who used mercury nitrates .

Google the terms "Mercury poisoning - manamata " and you can know how devastating mercury poisioning in large scale can be .

Navin said...

Speed brother,
thanks for enlightening us, even more.

Anonymous said...

Its my pleasure ......... i just cant resist chemistry related talks.

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