A photo that’s gone viral from The New England Journal of Medicine shows what the lungs of a woman looked like after she attempted suicide by injecting 10 ml of elemental mercury into her body.
The 21-year-old dental assistant was saved after arriving to a hospital emergency room with rapid breathing, a dry cough and bloody mucus. After a 10 month follow-up, she was found to have recovered with no renal, gastrointestinal or neurological symptoms.
The journal states the difference between elemental and inorganic and organic mercury as follows:
“The absence of clinical toxicity in this patient illustrates the differences in the acute and chronic effects of exposure to elemental mercury, inorganic mercury, and organic mercury. Inorganic and organic mercury are much more toxic than elemental mercury; for example, a dose of 400 mg of mercury in the form of dimethylmercury is usually lethal.”