The toxicity of mercury and mercury compounds has been reviewed in
Cassarett and Doull's Toxicology: the Basic Science of Poisons, 4th ed. p.
646 (and elsewhere throughout the text) and in the U. S. Dept. of Health
and Human Service ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Mercury, October 1992.
For ATSDR's online info on Hg see:
Elemental mercury vapor and mercury compounds can cross the placenta,
causing fetal toxicity. A chief effect on the fetus is impairment of
neurological development. An increased incidence of spontaneous abortions
has been reported among Hg-exposed dental assistants. There has been, and
continues to be, a concern regarding the toxicity of Hg vapor that arises
from amalgam dental fillings. A very recent review on this subject (F.
Lorschieder, M. Vimy, and A. Summers (1995) FASEB Journal 9: 504-8)
provides many references to neurologic, reproductive, immune, and other
effects of inorganic Hg.
Dr. Charles A. Miller, rellim at mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu
Toxicology News Group Discussion Leader
Dept. Environmental Health Sciences
Rm. 374 Center for Bioenvironmental Research
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University Medical Center
1430 Tulane Ave. Box SL29
New Orleans, LA 70112