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What are the health effects of mercury exposure?

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question: a thermometer with a mercury tip broke in my granddaughter's mouth. she spit out the mercury. I threw it out in a ziploc bag and made her rinse her mouth several times. do i need to take her to the doctor?
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Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah (42 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
NO!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

There is no reason to be concerned. Mercury when not vaporised cannot get into the blood system. If she had swallowed it, believe me it would have simply gone out with stool because the body cannot absorb it. Mercury is only harmful in the vaporised form. As a matter of fact, most dental fillings are done using mercury. If mercury was that poisonous in the form which is used in thermometers, we would have long taken these thermometers out of the market.

In all, there is no reason to get worried. There is no need to see a doctor.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thanks for using our services and feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Ivo Ditah (2 hours later)
Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You are welcome!

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for your kind words. If you have any further worries, do not hesitate to talk to me.

I wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Pradeep Vitta
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Answered by
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Dr. Ivo Ditah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 3992 Questions

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What are the health effects of mercury exposure?

Brief Answer: NO! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. There is no reason to be concerned. Mercury when not vaporised cannot get into the blood system. If she had swallowed it, believe me it would have simply gone out with stool because the body cannot absorb it. Mercury is only harmful in the vaporised form. As a matter of fact, most dental fillings are done using mercury. If mercury was that poisonous in the form which is used in thermometers, we would have long taken these thermometers out of the market. In all, there is no reason to get worried. There is no need to see a doctor. I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thanks for using our services and feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.