I am Shyam gaikwad, age 14 years. I Sell vegetables in the local market of Nasik. My father used to work in the local florescent lamp making factory. He died last year, and since then I have left studies to support my mother and younger brother. People say he had lost his mind . He actually had a problem of memory loss for past few years, then he started complaining of coughing and vision loss. When my mother took him to the ESI hospital , The doctor thee said that he has been exposed too much to mercury while making florescent lamps and that he should stop working there or else he would die. My father didn’t listen………
Mercury poisoning is one of the outcomes of modern scientific developments. Mercury is used in many electronic products like laptop, computer, telephone, DVD player, Fax and photocopy machines, LCD equipments and without all of these our life is very difficult. Usually they have 2-10 milligrams of mercury but the total consumption of mercury in these equipments is around 22% . After using these gadgets for some time either they usually develop some problem, and in most of the cases they are thrown, or they are replaced by a newer improved version. In many countries due to legal instructions some of these products are recycled, but rest are thrown out and slowly the dangerous chemicals get dissolved in soil and reach through us in form of underground water and food .
Florescent lamp – for past few years the demand for florescent lamp has increased. It gives good colourful light at the same times saves current and battery operated energy. These are made up of mercury, and if they get some problem then they are thrown away. In course of time due to tear and wear the lamp is broken and the mercury inside get dissolved in air and soil.
Mercury compounds – once mercury gets into a connection with air it gets transformed into mercury compounds which are through air and through underground water come inside our body.
Mercury cycle – water to air,air to water, soil to water and soil to air mercury is transported. In a study of workers working for a florescent lamp making company , it was found that their urine culture has 12-13.47 miligram of mercury.
Mercury is a strange metal. It is in liquid state at normal temperature but at 0.3 pressure and 25 degree celcius temperature it is transformed to steam and since it does not have any colour or smell it is difficult to identify its presence in air.
Through respiration it goes in our body and get dissolved in blood. Through blood it reaches to different parts of body and brain. Exposure to mercury specially in children can lead to mental disorder.
According to WHO the amount of mercury should not be more than 0.001 miligram per square meter of air. Even in industrial are this amount should not exceed 0.25 miligram.
Ways to be safe – industrial workers who need to work with mercury should wear gloves, eye protecting gadgets and masks. The place should have good ventilation system.
Electronic products should not be thrown out in open space but should be disposed off in particular marked are.
People should be educated about the bad effects of mercury poisoning.