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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- Methylmercuric dicyanamide is no longer produced or used in the US. Much of the human toxicity of methyl mercury is known from incidents of consumption of contaminated foods. Methylmercuric dicyanamide is at least partly converted to methyl mercury. The toxicity of this agent is not well characterized. This review is based upon other organic and inorganic mercury compounds. Not all effects are necessarily reported with methylmercuric dicyanamide.
- Methylmercuric dicyanamide is toxic by ingestion, inhalation, and contact with the skin.
- Mercury compounds can be absorbed by inhalation and through the skin.
- Toxicity from organic mercurials may be delayed up to weeks following exposure. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, paresthesias of the lips and mouth, and lethargy may occur. Methyl mercury is a known human teratogen and can induce severe neurological defects in the unborn.
- The brain is the critical organ for chronic organic mercury poisoning. Psychological changes include increased irritability and sensitivity, xenophobia, insomnia, hallucinations, and mania. Eventually there is spongeous degeneration of the brain with loss of many higher functions.
- When mercury poisoning is suspected in critically ill patients, chelation therapy should be started regardless of the form of mercury causing toxicity.
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