An estimated 100 million people around the world are exposed to mercury-containing metals like copper and lead, but only about half of them get sick, according to a new study.
The findings suggest that mercury in metal baskets and other materials that have been used for centuries is not as safe as the U.S. government and others suggest.
In the study, scientists used the World Health Organization’s WHO database to track more than 1,000 metal-containing compounds and their potential for causing disease.
Researchers looked at compounds such as aluminium, lead, tin, and mercury.
They then calculated the health risks from the compounds and the number of deaths that might result from the chemicals exposure, according the study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
To get the data, the scientists used a computer model that mimicked human exposure.
The model estimated the health effects of the compounds using data from studies in the U, U.K., Canada, Australia, China, France, Germany, and India.
“There are still so many unknowns, and there are so many unanswered questions,” said study co-author Mark Hetrick, a researcher at the University of Adelaide in Australia.
A person who eats a meal with a food containing mercury can suffer more severe effects, the study found.
Some studies have suggested that eating too much of the metal can cause liver damage.
The researchers looked at the effect of mercury in food samples collected from people who were in the study.
The study found that people who ate foods with mercury had lower liver function.
But the amount of mercury that a person ate did not matter.
In some cases, the mercury could still be harmful, but it could be more toxic, according.
Mercury is used in a variety of products, including cosmetics, antiseptics, antifreeze, pesticides, paint, and some pharmaceuticals.
The U.N. health agency says mercury-based paints can cause cancer.
The metal can also be found in the air that people breathe, and is found in some plastics and some household products.
It is widely used as a chemical that is used to coat plastics and paint.
Many people who consume mercury-rich foods and drink large amounts of it, or those who are exposed by other substances, have a low risk of developing mercury poisoning, according an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine in December.
More research is needed to better understand the potential for mercury in these chemicals.