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Subclinical psychomotor and neuromuscular changes in workers exposed to inorganic mercury.
Miller JM; Chaffin DB; Smith RG
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1975 Oct; 36(10):725-733
Subclinical psychomotor and neuromuscular changes are studied in 77 workers exposed to inorganic mercury (7439976) while engaged in chloralkali manufacturing or manufacturing of magnetic materials as a means of recognizing overexposure subclinically so that appropriate corrective action can be taken before permanent damage is incurred. Unremitting abnormalities of dermatographia (skin writing) and eye-lid fasciculations occur in those with current elevated urine and blood mercury levels. Increase in the frequency of forearm tremor, increase in the bandwidth of the surface electromyogram, decrease in the speed of hand and foot tapping with increase in response time and variation in eye-hand coordination are found to be reversible below a mercury body burden of about 600 micrograms per liter of blood. Psychomotor control is considered to be greatly affected by elevated levels of mercury in the blood, and health status testing using behavioral and neurological measures are recommended for any person routinely exposed to mercury when the blood concentrations exceed 100 micrograms per liter.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-099-71-0062; Toxic-substances; Mercury-poisoning; Metal-poisoning; Mercurialism; Heavy-metals; Monitoring; Industrial-health; Thresholds; Exposure-limits; Physiological-response; Psychomotor-function; Neuromuscular-function; Clinical-analysis; Laboratory-diagnosis; Blood-tests; Blood-chemistry; Urine-chemistry
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: December 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division