Mercury is toxic to human health, posing a particular threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life. Mercury exists in various forms: elemental (or metallic); inorganic (e.g. mercuric chloride); and organic (e.g., methyl- and ethylmercury), which all have different toxic effects, including on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.

Different resources are available to explore toxicological aspects of mercury and its compounds, and to understand the roles and responsibilities of the health sector in the implementation of the Minamata convention, in line with the World Health Assembly Resolution 67.11 (2014)