Four workers chronically exposed to elemental mental mercury in a lampsocket manufacturing factory were studied. The clinical manifestations were severe in one, mild in another, and suspicious in the remaining two. Correlation between severity of clinical features and increased urinary mercury concentrations was found. The time weighted average mercury concentrations were 0.945 mg/m3 and 0.709 mg/m3 for two workers in one room and 0.225 mg/m3 in the other. After stopping exposure, the workers recovered spontaneously or with D-penicillamine treatment within six months. It is concluded that recovery from chronic elemental mercury intoxication may be complete when patients are removed early from the exposure environment. The hazard of mercury intoxication in recycling of waste substances is emphasised.
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