Mercury is a common substance found in air, water, and soil. Mercury exists in many forms. Liquid mercury, also called elemental or metallic mercury is used to make many everyday items, like thermometers and compact fluorescent light bulbs. It is also used to make small batteries and dental fillings. While liquid mercury itself may not be dangerous in small amounts, it becomes increasingly more toxic when it evaporates and turns into a vapor or gas.Breathing in mercury vapors can be very harmful, especially over time. So, for example, if you break a mercury thermometer, be sure to clean up the mercury as soon and as thoroughly as possible. The liquid mercury will vaporize quickly and extended exposure to it, particularly in an unventilated room, can cause toxicity. Injuries from mercury are serious, and if you or your child has been injured, you need to contact the Mobile and Montgomery personal injury attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt immediately.
Another form of mercury is called methyl mercury. Methyl mercury is a naturally occurring compound of mercury and exists everywhere. It is the type of mercury that becomes airborne from industrial pollution and settles in our rivers, oceans, and soil and eventually becomes part of the food supply. Large fish like tuna and swordfish that eat the smaller fish in the ocean are known to ingest a large amount of methyl mercury. Fruits and vegetables can also soak in methyl mercury from the soil environment.
Yet another cause of mercury poisoning that has received recent notoriety is a form of mercury called Thimerosal. Thimerosal is a substance that was commonly used as a preservative in vaccines to increase their shelf life.Many childhood vaccines contained Thimerosal, although the practice is no longer allowed in the United States today. In recent years, studies have linked Thimerosal to mercury poisoning—particularly causing autism-like symptoms in infants and children.
Mercury Poisoning is Particularly Harmful to Unborn Fetuses, Infants, and Young Children
While people of all ages can fall ill from mercury poisoning, it is particularly harmful to unborn children, infants and very young children. The increased harm is because the toxins in mercury affect the brain and nervous system, which are undeveloped and vulnerable in infants and small children. Mercury poisoning can pass through the mother into the fetus, so it is very important for mothers to watch out for mercury exposure to their unborn children.
Children who have been exposed to mercury often develop long-term impairments in speech and motor coordination, memory and attention problems, and can experience numbness and tremors. Studies have linked mercury poisoning to the increased risk of ADHD in children.
There are Many Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
There is a wide variety of symptoms of mercury poisoning. Most of them are related to the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and lungs. Common symptoms of mercury poisoning in children include:
- Pink or red hands, feet and nose
- Peeling or pain in the extremities
- Weakness or tremors
- Headaches, blurry vision, nausea or vomiting
- Memory or concentration problems
- Accelerated heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain
Protect Yourself and Your Family Members from Mercury Poisoning
It is important to protect your family from mercury exposure. Follow these precautions to reduce the chances that your child will be exposed to mercury in his lifetime:
- Carefully handle and dispose of products that contain mercury, such as fluorescentlight bulbs and batteries
- Limit your consumption of fish with higher levels of mercury
- Throw out any products such as old thermometers or medications that may contain mercury
- If you spill mercury, do not heat or vacuum it. Use an eyedropper or paper to scoop up droplets.
- If you find mercury in the home, ventilate it with fresh air.
Statute of Limitations in Alabama
Your child may experience the effects of mercury poisoning even before the onset of any symptoms. If you suspect your child has mercury poisoning, the first thing you should do is locate the source of mercury and immediately remove it. Then, make sure your child receives treatment from a medical doctor. Certain therapies are available to reverse the effects of mercury poisoning. You should also consult with an attorney who has experience with child mercury poisonings to determine if there is a third party responsible for your child’s illness. For example, your child may have gotten ill from fruit grown on land containing mercury contaminated soil. Or a local factory or manufacturing plant could be leaching mercury into the air or groundwater near your home. It is also possible that your dentist is improperly using silver fillings with mercury in your child’s dental care. There are many things that could have contributed to your child’s mercury poisoning.
However, Alabama, like all other states has a law called a Statute of Limitations that governs the amount of time you have with which to bring a lawsuit. In some instances, the time periods are extremely short. In the case of mercury poisoning, where the cause of the problem is often tricky to find, you will want to consult an attorney like the experienced attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt immediately. With many years of expertise in child mercury poisoning, our attorneys will capably guide you through the complexities of such a case and make sure your lawsuit is brought in a timely manner.
Contact Farris, Riley &Pitt if You Think Your Child Is Ill from Mercury Poisoning
Determining the extent of your damages in the case of child mercury poisoning can be difficult. First of all, the full effects of your child’s exposure may not come out for years. For example, you may not know if a child exposed to mercury in the womb will develop learning disabilities and attention problems until he is school age. Medical expenses, lost wages from caring for your child, therapy costs, and the pain and suffering of having a child who has been injured by mercury poisoning can be costly and difficult to compensate. Fortunately, the attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt have been expertly handling child mercury poisoning cases since opening its doors in 1996.Life altering childhood injuries affect not only the injured party, but that child’s family members and loved ones.
Let Mobile and Birmingham Alabama lawyers Farris, Riley and Pitt help you to pursue justice. For a free evaluation and to learn more about whether you have a claim in the event your child has been injured by mercury poisoning contact the attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt today. You can call us at 205-324-1212 or toll-free at 1-888-580-5176. You can reach our knowledgeable legal staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling our toll-free lawyer assistance line at 1-888-937-7534.