From National Kidney Foundation
“Kidney disease is common because chronic kidney disease defined as a filtering capacity or function of an estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate of less than 60ml/min/1.73m2 (less than about 60% of normal).and/or the presence of persistent microalbuminuria or proteinuria, or protein in the urine, has now been consistently shown to affect about 10-13% of the adult population in studies of different races living on different continents worldwide. According to investigators at Johns Hopkins and Tufts-New England Medical Center, a recently-published study based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimated that there are 26,000,000 adults with evidence of kidney disease in the United States alone and most are completely unaware of their condition. This number increases the most recent estimates of the rate of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by 30%, from 10% of the U.S. population (1988-1994) to 13.1% (1999-2004).”
wkd/action.cfmcopied on 6/21/2010 at 12:52 pm
EPA statement regarding Mercury Exposure and Effects“ Hazard Summary-Created in April 1992; Revised in January 2000
Mercury exists in three forms: elemental mercury, inorganic mercury compounds (primarily mercuric chloride), and organic mercury compounds (primarily methyl mercury). All forms of mercury are quite toxic, and each form exhibits different health effects.
Acute (short-term) exposure to high levels of elemental mercury in humans results in central nervous system (CNS) effects such as tremors, mood changes, and slowed sensory and motor nerve function. Chronic (long-term) exposure to elemental mercury in humans also affects the CNS, with effects such as erethism (increased excitability), irritability, excessive shyness, and tremors. Human studies are inconclusive regarding elemental mercury and cancer.
Acute exposure to inorganic mercury by the oral route may result in effects such as nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain. The major effect from chronic exposure to inorganic mercury is kidney damage. Animal studies have reported effects such as alterations in testicular tissue, increased resorption rates, and abnormalities of development. Mercuric chloride (an inorganic mercury compound) exposure has been shown to result in forestomach, thyroid, and renal tumors in experimental animals.
Acute exposure of humans to very high levels of methyl mercury results in CNS effects such as blindness, deafness, and impaired level of consciousness. Chronic exposure to methyl mercury in humans also affects the CNS with symptoms such as paresthesia (a sensation of pricking on the skin), blurred vision, malaise, speech difficulties, and constriction of the visual field. Methyl mercury exposure, via the oral route, has led to significant developmental effects. Infants born to women who ingested high levels of methyl mercury exhibited mental retardation, ataxia, constriction of the visual field, blindness, and cerebral palsy.”
hlthef/mercury.htmlfound on 6/21/2010 at 1:28pm
OSHA OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH GUIDELINE FOR MERCURY VAPOR“1. Effects on Animals: Mercury vapor can damage the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, lungs and colon in experimental animals. It is also mutagenic and can affect the immune system. Rabbits exposed for a single 4 hour period to mercury vapor at a concentration of 28.8 mg/m(3) developed severe damage to the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, lungs, and colon [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. Rabbits exposed to 0.86 mg/m(3) for 6 weeks had significant brain and kidney damage, which resolved on cessation of exposure. Exposure to 6 mg/m(3) mercury vapor caused severe damage to the kidney, heart, lung, and brain of rabbits; however, dogs exposed to 0.1 mg/m(3) for 83 weeks had no microscopic indication of tissue damage [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. Mercury may injure the kidneys through an autoimmune mechanism [ACGIH 1991]. Mercury was mutagenic in eukaryotic cells [ACGIH 1991].
2. Effects on Humans: Mercury vapor can cause effects in the central and peripheral nervous systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes in humans. It is also mutagenic and affects the immune system [Hathaway et al. 1991; Clayton and Clayton 1981; Rom 1992]. Acute exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapor causes severe respiratory damage, while chronic exposure to lower levels is primarily associated with central nervous system damage [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Chronic exposure to mercury is also associated with behavioral changes and alterations in peripheral nervous system [ACGIH 1991]. Pulmonary effects of mercury vapor inhalation include diffuse interstitial pneumonitis with profuse fibrinous exudation [Gosselin 1984]. Glomerular dysfunction and proteinuria have been observed mercury exposed workers [ACGIH 1991]. Chronic mercury exposure can cause discoloration of the cornea and lens, eyelid tremor and, rarely, disturbances of vision and extraocular muscles [Grant 1986]. Delayed hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in individuals exposed to mercury vapor [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. Mercury vapor is reported to be mutagenic in humans, causing aneuploidy in lymphocytes of exposed workers [Hathaway et al. 1991].”
healthguidelines/mercuryvapor/6/21/2010 3:08pm recognition.html
“Mercury and the Kidney
G. Kazantzis, Senior Lecturer
Social and Preventive Medicine, the Middlesex Hospital
The toxic effects of mercury are dependent on the compound to which exposure occurs and on the route of absorption. The kidney retains more mercury than any other organ in the body and the metal is in part excreted in the urine, principally by transfer through the tubular epithelium. Urinary excretion of mercury correlates with atmospheric concentration where group data are analysed, but there can be considerable variation between individuals with similar exposure and in one individual from day to day. Estimation of urinary mercury concentration is of limited value in the diagnosis of mercurialism, as high excretion rates may be seen without clinical disorder, or mercurialism may be present when urinary excretion is low. Inorganic mercury compounds and a variety of organic mercurials have a pronounced diuretic effect in pharmacological dosage. Larger amounts of ingested inorganic mercury salts give rise to acute tubular necrosis which may result in oliguria or anuria. The prevalence of proteinuria is increased in workers exposed to mercury vapour, inorganic mercury and certain organic mercury compounds, an effect which appears to be related to glomerular damage. In some subjects the loss of protein through the glomerulus can be of such degree that the nephrotic syndrome may result. Indirect evidence suggests that an immunological mechanism may be involved. All workers exposed to mercury or its compounds should be screened regularly for proteinuria and removed from further exposure should this develop.”
org/cgi/content/abstract/20/2/6/21/2010 3:28pm 54
Mercury causes problems by binding to the sulfhydryl groups on proteins. The kidney may mistake the protein with mercury on it for a cofactor called glutathione. The kidney normally filters glutathione out of the urine and retains it in the body. When it does this to the proteins with mercury bound to them, it effectively concentrates the mercury in the kidneys. The mercury can go on to react with other proteins and enzymes in the cells and can eventually kill the kidney cells, leading to diseases associated with kidney failure. Mercury can also damage the central nervous system.”
edu/chh/problem_sets/21/6/2010 3:37pm kidneysmetals/08t.html