Using Mercury-Free Paint Products

istorically, the use of mercury in paint products can be traced back to 5000BCE in human skeletons. It was covered in vermillion, also known as cinnabar (HgS). The use of mercury-containing paints can be also found in Egyptian tombs and homes from the Roman emperor. Our lifestyle has rapidly changed since the industrial revolution, which increased the demand for the production of paints for home appliance products.

The reason many paint companies use mercury in their paint products is to prolong the shelf life of the paint.

The reason many paint companies use mercury in their paint products is to prolong the shelf life of the paint. According to the case that happened in August 1989, a form of mercury poisoning occurred in a child exposed to paint fumes in a home recently painted with a brand containing 4.7 mmol of mercury per liter even though the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit is 1.5 mmol or less per liter.

There are several cases related to potentially hazardous exposure to mercury among the persons whose homes were painted with an exceeded amount of safe-limit mercury and significantly higher mercury concentration in the interior paints.

Mercury is evaporated and released from the surface of the mercury-containing paint after the paint has dried. Humans readily absorb both inorganic and organic mercury vapor once they have inhaled the mercury.

The symptoms and diseases associated with high-dose mercury vapor inhalation are upper respiratory problems, renal failure, cardiovascular events, gastrointestinal problems, and defects in the central nervous system.

One of the best ways to prevent mercury poisoning from paint-related products is to replace alternative certified products or the products approved by Non-profit health organizations.

[1] Mercury Science and Policy at MIT, Retrieved from

Each one of us suffers the consequence of environmental pollution problems since the industrial revolution. Minamata disease is one of the consequence of environmental pollutions due to the mercury poisoning.

Exposure to mercury threatens human health especially developing fetuses and young children are at a higher risk.

The awareness of mercury intoxication and the sources of contamination should be alerted in order to prevent the health and pollution problems.