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Many in the U.S. still Encounter Mercury Hazards


EMSL Analytical offers testing solutions for mercury and other heavy metals to protect people and the environment.

Cinnaminson, NJ

Egyptian tombs dating back to 1500 BC have been found to contain mercury. Mercury is a metal that is in a liquid state at standard conditions for temperature and pressure. Due to mercury’s unique properties, man has found many uses for the metal over the years and has also suffered subsequent mercury poisoning.

The phrase “mad as a hatter” refers to the effects of mercury poisoning of hat producers from the 18th and 19th centuries. During that time a mercury compound was used to produce some hats and highly toxic vapors were inhaled by the workers during production causing psychological symptoms.

Since mercury can easily evaporate it makes it a potential toxic inhalation hazard even today when products containing mercury are spilled or carelessly disposed of. A recent article in the September 2010 issue of Indoor Environment Connections (IEC) newspaper entitled “All that Glitters is Not Gold – Sometimes it’s Mercury” discusses the hazards of the metal to people.

The article states, “It can get in your body via your gastrointestinal system if you eat or drink contaminated items, via your pulmonary system if you inhale mercury vapor, and via your integumentary system (skin) if you handle it. Mercury is difficult for the body to eliminate. It can accumulate in the body, reaching dangerous concentrations over time.”

EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading provider of heavy metal analytical services, offers mercury testing. “Mercury is extremely toxic,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President at EMSL. “It has been used in everything from cosmetics and medicine to thermometers and thermostats. Mercury compounds are also still used in a number of industrial applications and released into the environment from sources such as coal-fired power plants”

To learn more about testing for mercury or other heavy metals please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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