The main route of mercury absorption is via the respiratory tract. In spite of this, mercury can also be absorbed when in contact with the skin and through the gastrointestinal tract.

The toxic signs of mercury illness are readily recognized. Vapor inhalation chronic toxicity is marked by sore throat, listlessness, tremors abdominal discomfort and other signs. Other chronic disease indications are nervousness, irritability and other personality changes.

Personnel exposed to mercury and its compounds should employ protective equipment such as impermeable gloves and eye protection.