The three modern "faces" of mercury are our perceptions of risk from the exposure of billions of people to methyl mercury in fish, mercury vapor from amalgam tooth fillings, and ethyl mercury in the form of thimerosal added as an antiseptic to widely used vaccines. In this article I review human exposure to and the toxicology of each of these three species of mercury. Mechanisms of action are discussed where possible. Key gaps in our current knowledge are identified from the points of view both of risk assessment and of mechanisms of action.
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