In which John Green investigates the dawn of human civilization. John looks into how people gave up hunting and gathering to become agriculturalists, and how that change has influenced the world we live in today. Also, there are some jokes about cheeseburgers.
Runtime: 12 minutes
Crash Course: World History - Mercury poisoning - Netflix
Mercury poisoning is a type of metal poisoning due to mercury exposure. Symptoms depend upon the type, dose, method, and duration of exposure. They may include muscle weakness, poor coordination, numbness in the hands and feet, skin rashes, anxiety, memory problems, trouble speaking, trouble hearing, or trouble seeing. High level exposure to methylmercury is known as Minamata disease. Methylmercury exposure in children may result in acrodynia (pink's disease) in which the skin becomes pink and peels. Long-term complications may include kidney problems and decreased intelligence. The effects of long-term low-dose exposure to methylmercury are unclear. Forms of mercury exposure include metal, vapor, salt, and organic compound. Most exposure is from eating fish, amalgam based dental fillings, or exposure at work. In fish, those higher up in the food chain generally have higher levels of mercury. Less commonly poisoning may occur as an attempt to end one's life. Human activities that release mercury into the environment include the burning of coal and mining of gold. Tests of the blood, urine, and hair for mercury are available but do not relate well to the amount in the body. Prevention includes eating a diet low in mercury, removing mercury from medical and other devices, proper disposal of mercury, and not mining further mercury. In those with acute poisoning from inorganic mercury salts, chelation with either dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) or dimercaptopropane sulfonate (DMPS) appears to improve outcomes if given within a few hours of exposure. Chelation for those with long-term exposure is of unclear benefit. In certain communities that survive on fishing, rates of mercury poisoning among children have been as high as 1.7 per 100.
Crash Course: World History - Cleaning spilled mercury - Netflix
Mercury thermometers and mercury light bulbs are not as common as they used to be, and the amount of mercury they contain is unlikely to be a health concern if handled carefully. However, broken items still require careful cleanup, as mercury can be hard to collect and it is easy to accidentally create a much larger exposure problem. If available, powdered sulfur may be applied to the spill, in order to create a solid compound that is more easily removed from surfaces than liquid mercury.