Generally in the form of fungicides, the majority of which are now banned in the UK and in France. Ethylmercury phosphate, 2-methoxyethylmercury acetate and phenylmercury acetate are organomercurial fungicide seed treatments for cereals and fodder beet, permitted for use in the UK. In France, only silicate of methoxymethylmercury is authorized for use as a crop seed dressing. This chemical group comprises a large number of compounds which are not detailed here.

[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Cattle, sheep, pigs, (other species).

[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of the agricultural product or of treated seeds. Poisoning by these compounds has become increasingly rare. The different compounds may be grouped into two main categories:
The tendency for these compounds to accumulate in tissues makes meat unfit for consumption.

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Extremely toxic compounds which accumulate in living organisms.

Oral doses in mg/kg:
LD50 10-500 dependent on the species and the particular compound involved

Silicate of methoxyethylmercury:
LD50 rats 1140


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
Neurological effects
Acts upon the CNS:

Dermal effects

Occasional (other) effects

[lesions.gif] Lesions

[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. BAL or sodium thiosulphate may, in the opinion of some contributors, be used effectively as chelating agents.