Combined kidney weight ranged from 240 to 460 g. They were grossly edematous with poor corticome-dullary demarcation. Histologically all were similar, revealing acute tubular necrosis of the proximal tubules. The distal tubules and glomeruli were without abnormalities. Transmission electron microscopic examination of case 3 revealed only degenerative tubular changes. Mercury deposits and glomerular damage were not identified. Acute mercury inhalation exposure tends to occur in three settings: industrial accidents, accidents within the home, and in association with novice attempts to extract precious metals from mercury amalgam. We reviewed 109 reported cases of acute mercury inhalation. We found that industrial accidents occurred most frequently (61 percent) followed by attempts to extract precious metals from amalgams (24 percent) and then home accidents (15 percent). buy cheap antibiotics
There were nine reported deaths: five children and four adults. All deaths were related to respiratory failure following acute inhalation. We describe four family members exposed to toxic concentrations of mercury vapor in their home during attempts to extract silver from mercury amalgam. The threshold limit value of acceptable mercury vapor concentration is 0.05 mg/m.