IN THE KNOW: Minamata disease
Minamata disease is the result of consuming fish and shellfish contaminated with mercury. Symptoms include convulsions, slurred speech, loss of motor functions and uncontrollable limb movements.
Other neurological and behavioral disorders that may be obtained from inhaling or ingesting mercury compounds include tremors, insomnia and memory loss.
Its first case was recorded in 1956 in Minamata town in Japan, where a factory discharged high concentrations of methylmercury into the bay.
The fish and shellfish that comprised a large part of the local diet were contaminated and eventually affected at least 50,000 people and over 2,000 cases of Minamata disease were certified. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Sources: World Health Organization and time.com
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