Given the fact that elemental and methylmercury are toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems, inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal. The inorganic salts of mercury are corrosive to the skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, and may induce kidney toxicity if ingested.
We submit that neurological and behavioural disorders may be observed after inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure of different mercury compounds. Symptoms include tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches and cognitive and motor dysfunction. Mild, subclinical signs of central nervous system toxicity can be seen in workers exposed to an elemental mercury level in the air of 20 μg/m3 or more for several years. Kidney effects have been reported, ranging from increased protein in the urine to kidney failure.
We submit that so far regulatory agencies in India have failed to protect the food chain from the criminal poisoning seem to waiting for a formal announcement of Minamata like disaster to react.
In view of the above, we urge you to ban use of mercury based dental amalgam in India to safeguard public health of present and future generations.