Mercury Poisoning: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/29/2020

Excessive amounts of the element mercury in the body causes mercury poisoning. Mercury is a naturally found in air, water and soil. A highly toxic form of mercury known as methylmercury accumulates in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish.

Signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning include

  • impaired peripheral vision,
  • coordination problems,
  • speech and hearing problems, and a
  • pins and needles feeling accompanied by disturbances in sensations.

Other signs and symptoms associated with mercury poisoning can include

Cause of mercury poisoning

Fish and shellfish are the main sources of methylmercury exposure to humans. Another way humans are exposed to mercury is through silver dental fillings.

Other mercury poisoning symptoms and signs

  • Coordination Problems
  • Emotional Changes
  • Headaches
  • Impaired Peripheral Vision
  • Insomnia
  • Memory Problems
  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Pins and Needles Feeling Accompanied by Disturbances in Sensations
  • Speech and Hearing Problems
  • Tremors or Twitching of Muscles


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.