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  • Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can be found in air, water, and soil that has been linked to central nervous system and kidney damage.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can be found in air, water, and soil. It is a neurotoxin that has been linked to central nervous system damage and birth defects, as well as many other adverse health effects. You may have heard about mercury poisoning from eating certain fish or from using old thermometers, but did you know that you can be exposed to mercury through your drinking water? 

Let’s talk about the different forms of mercury, how it gets into our water supplies, the dangers associated with this contaminant, and how you can minimize exposure to protect yourself and your loved ones.

What is Mercury?

Mercury is a naturally occurring chemical element that exists in three forms: 

  • Elemental Mercury, historically referred to as quicksilver or metallic mercury, occurs naturally in rock formations. It is a silver liquid at room temperature, though it is rare that you would find mercury in a liquid state in nature. Though the use of mercury in household products has been drastically reduced or eliminated, elemental mercury was historically used in items such as thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, and electrical switches. It was also widely used for dental amalgams due to its ability to react with and bind together the other metal alloy particles needed to form an amalgam.

  • Inorganic Mercury are compounds formed when mercury binds with other elements and can be found naturally in the environment. It is also used in some industrial processes and to create other chemicals. 

  • Organic Mercury, or methylmercury, is formed when mercury combines with carbon. Microorganisms in water and soil convert elemental and inorganic mercury into methylmercury which is then consumed by animals and accumulates in the food chain – this is why you’ll hear people warn you about excess consumption of specific fish and seafood that are known to have high levels of mercury!

Contamination Facts







Mercury is introduced into the environment in many ways. Major sources of mercury contamination in water supplies are erosion, wastewater from factories, and runoff from landfills and cropland. Additional sources include industrial pollution, mining wastes, and coal-fired power plants. 

Elemental mercury can get into our water through rainfall, runoff, and soil seepage. When water runs over rocks or through soil with high mercury levels, the element leaches into the water and seeps into aquifers and reservoirs, which are the source of many public drinking water systems. 

While drinking water is a major source of mercury exposure, other sources of mercury exposure include consuming fish and shellfish containing methyl mercury, being in close proximity to products containing elemental mercury which can break and release mercury vapor into the air, getting dental amalgams that are made with elemental mercury, and working in industrial factories where mercury is discharged.

Health Effects of Mercury

All forms of mercury pose a risk to the nervous system and kidneys, with intensity of effects ranging from amount and form of mercury exposure, length of exposure, and your age. Long term exposure to drinking water with mercury levels well above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) can lead to many adverse health effects.

When ingested, methylmercury enters the bloodstream and is distributed throughout your body to all tissues and can cross the normally protective blood-brain barrier and affect the brain. 

According to the EPA, some of the potential symptoms and effects of mercury at low-levels are:

  • Mood swings, irritability, and other emotional changes

  • Tremors

  • Insomnia

  • Headaches

  • Muscle weakness, twitching, and atrophy

  • Poor mental function

  • Memory loss

  • Nervous system damage

  • Skin rashes

  • A “pins and needles” feeling in the hands and feet

  • Loss of peripheral vision

High exposure to mercury may lead to mercury poisoning, as well as respiratory failure, kidney damage, and death.

Clearly Filtered Products that target Mercury

Removal Rate

Water Pitcher Filter


Under the Sink Filter

> 91.80%

Refrigerator Filter

> 91.80%

Water Bottle Filter

> 91.94%

Get Proven Protection With Clearly Filtered

Our Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology removes up to 98.4% of mercury in your water while our Filtered Water Bottles can remove up to 91.9%. Universal Inline Fridge Filter, and 3-Stage Under the Sink Water Filter System are all tested to remove up to 91.8% of mercury. 

Clean and safe water makes all the difference, regardless if you’re using it to drink, bathe, cook, or simply make a cup of coffee. Upgrade to Clearly Filtered and ensure the highest water quality to protect your health and your loved ones.

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