This is a natural part of some rock, and, hence, water, and soil, and air. But, despite this, "metal of life" mercury cannot be called, rather, it deserves the name "the metal of death". Already in the I century A.D. Pliny the Elder dubbed it "the most powerful of all poisons, and for 400 years until he Paracelsus said: "it is Impossible to list of diseases caused alive silver (mercury)".
A tragic example is highly developed in Japan and Iraq, Argentina, among our closest neighbors - Western Germany. We see that everywhere, where is developing heavy industry, and entrepreneurs regret means for treatment facilities (it must be admitted that sometimes they cost the same or even more than the industrial equipment), there is always the end poisoning the environment.
The most polluted by mercury river in Western Europe can be considered the Elbe. Its water is polluted waste industrial plants Germany, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. As proved experimental measurements in the area of Shnakenburg, the waters of this river are daily 112 kg of mercury, 186 kg tin, 457 kg of copper and 3913 kg of zinc. It is estimated that every year in the natural environment of Germany emit about 370 tons of mercury (!), and it is expected that this figure will grow.
But this is not enough. Mercury acts treacherously, because first poisoning are asymptomatic. Irreversible changes in the organism starts not typical: first, there are headaches, dizziness, gum disease, difficulty in concentration, nausea, insomnia, hair begins to fall out. And then violated it, you receive a state of fear, nervousness or confusion, the number of white blood cells decreases are signs of a loss of the body's immune system, the state, in which even minor infection can be fatal. And in the final stage of this "creeping" poisoning disappears joint mobility, and the person becomes numb doll.
Mercury gradually accumulates in the body of animals and people. For example, in many places of the Elbe concentration of mercury, and other toxic substances, often below acceptable standards of the who, but living in the waters of the river organisms accumulate sometimes a huge number of these "poisons".
Widely known story with acne. In 1981 fishermen from Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein organized demonstrations (joined about 50 thousand people) and blocked boats mouth of the river near Hamburg, because they were forbidden under pain of paying fines sale of acne caught in the Elbe. As it turned out, the mercury content in the fish thousands of times exceeded the permissible norm. The fishermen were threatened with unemployment.
Mercury can be felt also in the subsequent generations. Environmentalists believe that the death of wild birds living in the area of the Elbe, also caused by poisoning her water. Mercury compounds are absorbed slowly, but fundamentally, they are deposited in muscle, kidney, nervous system and the brain. Most of all she attacks the fruit, often causing hereditary diseases.
More than 450 deaths noted in Iraq in 1972 after food hit the bread of poisoned by mercury flour. In 1980, found signs of poisoning 1600 babies in Argentina, which disinfected diaper preparation containing mercury.
Pure mercury, in its original form, not as dangerous as its vapor or organic derivatives generated in the water under the action of microorganisms. They are absorbed by a whole chain of living organisms yet to be in the "acne from Hamburg" and finally, the human body. No wonder our grandmothers used to panic when broken thermometer and live silver" were rolling on the floor, fractions into small balls. Already then knew how poisonous mercury, although the river is still wasn't poisoned.
From the human body mercury is released very slowly. It is time, as we have said, to penetrate into the brain, disrupt vision, taste and touch, as well as the psyche. However, in 1981 in Germany introduced a new law under which anyone who pulls the waste into the river, waiting for a large fine. The law was aimed to force the owners of enterprises to build treatment plants, but the industrial bosses, and their faithful advisers, lawyers of the so-defined procedure, it is more profitable to continue to pay relatively low fines than to construct modern treatment facilities. The result is a river in this country is more and more reminiscent of gutters filled foaming dirt. And isn't there and we have these rivers and streams? First of all detected a high content of mercury in hair and blood people constantly eating fish from the Baltic sea or from waters washing industrialized coast of Canada and the USA. Again recall that selenium helps in such cases is the antidote. The proof can serve tuna, containing, as a rule, large amounts of mercury. But since there is a lot of selenium, neither fish was not poisoned, nor the people who tried it in the food.
Many countries have established regulations defining the maximum acceptable mercury concentration in food products, including fish or products of its processing. Studies have shown that fish canned food Polish production is mercury, but in minimal quantities smaller than the lower limit of the norms accepted in the world. These studies were conducted in the Institute of technology of food in Marine.
In the USA and England's limit the mercury content is 0.5 mg per 1 kg of food in Italy and France - 0.7 mg/kg, in Sweden, Finland and Japan - 1 mg/kg, in Norway - 1.5 mg/kg
In Poland it is considered that the content of the above 0.5 mg of mercury per 1 kg of product is inadmissible. Were analyzed 121 party of canned fish 5 assortment - on average they contain 0.2 mg of mercury per 1 kg of Polish canned fish can safely be eaten.
The world has suddenly become extremely small. Even snow on the inaccessible peaks of the Himalayas proved to be contaminated "dust" of civilization. It is increasingly difficult to find clean water, not only in the depth of the continents, but in the seas and oceans. Calls for environmental protection should not remain only appeals, if a person really wants to survive on this planet.