Exposure To Liquid Mercury

Filed under: Mercury - 07 Jun 2013  | Spread the word !

Mercury is a natural occurring element. This element can be found in rocks, soil, water, but also in air and in living things. Mercury is a unique metal in the world, as it is liquid at room temperature. Mercury is odorless, but also colorless, at least in its pure form.

Despite what you may imagine, mercury is an extremely dangerous metal for your health. This means that this is a hazardous chemical. Mercury exposure can actually lead to serious damage of the central nervous system, as well as the kidneys and liver. Exposure to mercury can lead to both long term and short term health complications. Some serious health problems can be experienced by individuals who are exposed to mercury.


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Exposure to mercury can cause:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Respiratory diseases;
  • Skin rashes;
  • Muscle tremors;
  • Personality changes.

The nerve damage caused by mercury exposure can actually cause paralysis, difficulty in walking, slurred speech and in the most serious cases it can even lead to the death of the patient. Naturally, symptoms, as well as the health complication developed, are going to vary depending on the level of exposure. To how much mercury and how long is a person exposed are crucial factors in determining the level of poisoning.


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The most sensitive category of individuals, when it comes to exposure to this metal, are children and pregnant women. They should avoid all type of exposure to mercury. This means that they should eliminate all mercury sources from their houses, including mercury thermometers and barometers. In case mercury is spilled, it should be cleaned immediately, with increased care of not entering into contact with the metal or breathing its vapors.

The highest risk of developing mercury poisoning is through inhalation. Breathing mercury vapors is simple when a split occurs. Breathing the metal is something that will occur extremely quick and which is highly toxic. In fact, even a small amount of mercury in air can cause serious health problems. This is why, you need to be as careful as possible when handing objects that contain the metal.

Frequently Asked Questions On Liquid Mercury

Filed under: Mercury - 29 Apr 2013  | Spread the word !

Liquid mercury is a highly used and well known element. There are many curious facts that you should know about this metal, as it commonly is found in numerous objects people own in their homes. Below you can find a list of the most frequently asked questions on liquid mercury. By learning their answers you will find out everything worth to be known about this transition metal.


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What is mercury?

Mercury is a transition metal, found in the same column of the periodic table as metals such as zinc and cadmium. Mercury is liquid at standard conditions of temperature and pressure. Mercury has the atomic number of 80. It features a relatively massive nucleus. The melting point of mercury is -37.966 degrees Fahrenheit. Mercury is a solid, crystalline metal below this point.

Where is mercury found in nature?

Mercury is a metal that can be found all around the world. Still, currently China and Kyrgyzstan are the worldwide leaders in mercury production. Mercury has been used since ancient times. It is commonly found in cinnabar, corderoite and livingstonite. Even though mercury found in inert form is harmless, it is important to know that soluble mercury is highly toxic.

What are the uses of mercury?

Mercury is widely used in industry and medicine. High levels of mercury are found in some fish, as well. Mercury is also found as an ingredient in certain mascara products. The use of mercury in cosmetics industry is quite common, despite the fact that its poisoning potential is widely known.

Where can mercury be found in your home?

As already mentioned, mercury has numerous uses. There are a wide range of objects in your home that contain mercury, too. They include button batteries, household switches, paints, household lamps, old toys, pesticides, antiseptics, dental amalgams, blood pressure gauges, as well as barometers and thermometers.

How does mercury exposure affect people?

Mercury exposure, as well as ingestion and skin contact are extremely dangerous. Mercury can easily travel, drain in water and settle in soil. In can pass toxins to food and lead to poisoning. Patients diagnosed with mercury poisoning should know that this is an extremely serious condition. In the most severe situations, it can actually lead to the death of the patient.

What are the symptoms of mercury poisoning?

As mercury can be found in some fish, cases of poisoning can be easily diagnosed. There are numerous symptoms that patients are going to experience due to mercury poisoning. The most important ones include tremors, impaired cognitive skills, as well as teeth damage. Exposure to mercury can cause immune system dysfunction, irritability, but in the most severe cases it can also lead to speech and hearing problems, as well as to respiratory issues.

How to avoid mercury poisoning?

In most cases, mercury poisoning is treatable and it can be completely cured. However, to avoid the situation of being diagnosed with such a condition, the best idea you can have is to stay away of mercury sources. Now you know which are the objects in which mercury can be found in your home. In case you work in an environment in which mercury is needed, you should have yourself tested regularly, to avoid health complications.


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Even though nowadays many of the uses of mercury that could put in danger people’s health have been replaced, you should know that accidental mercury poisoning can still occur. The most important thing you should keep in mind is that mercury is highly toxic, so when ingested or inhaled it can cause some serious health problems. Still, the great uses of mercury should not be ignored, either.

What You Should Know About Mercury

Filed under: Mercury - 17 Feb 2013  | Spread the word !

Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at normal pressure and temperatures. It’s a silvery-white and poisonous metallic element. Mercury is liquid at room temperature and used in thermometers, barometers, flourescent lighting and batteries in the preparation of chemical pesticides.


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It’s also called quicksilver or liquid silver, but the chemical symbol for Mercury is Hg. Mercury was named after the Roman god. Mercury is malleable, ductile and is conduct heat.


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Mercury is naturally occuring element found in air, water and soil. It exists in a number of differemnt forms:

  • metallic mercury
  • elemental mercury
  • inorganic mercury compounds
  • organic mercury compounds

When it’s dropped, elemental mercury breaks into small droplets. At room temperature, elemntal mercury can evaporate and become invisible and odorless toxic vapor. Exposure and toxicity with mercury can happen when some objects containing mercury can break and expose mercury to the air.


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Mercury compounds can be found in antiseptics, disinfectants, fungicides, make up and traditional medicines. In the nature, mercury is a naturally occuring element. Unfortunately, human activities have led to increased amounts of mercury in atmosphere, streams and lakes.

A person’s health will be harmed depending on the form of mercury: if it’s elemental, inorganic compounds, organic compounds, the amount of mercury, tehnature of exposure, the length of exposure.


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Methylmercury is a compound that removes from the body naturally, but this can be a slow process. Nonetheless, the effects of mercury cannot happen at all, depending on the things mentioned above. If posiosning happens while women are pregnant, they can give birth with severe disabilities. Mercury can also be found in fish, but at the same time, maintaining a healthy diet is containing fish is also important.

Things To Know About Mercury

Filed under: Mercury - 13 Nov 2012  | Spread the word !

The element mercury is commonly defined as a silvery-white poisonous metallic element, which becomes liquid at room temperature. Mercury has a wide range of uses. For instance, it can be used in thermometers, barometers, vapor lamps, as well as in the preparation of chemical pesticide. Below you can find a list of other really interesting things about mercury.


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  • Mercury was named after the Roman god Mercury.
  • The symbol of this element is Hg, which actually comes from hydrargyrum, meaning water and silver.
  • Mercury is commonly considered a Transition Metal, being ductile, malleable and also able to conduct electricity and heat.
  • This element has a long history, actually being known since the time of Ancient Egypt.
  • More than 50 percent of all mercury resources come from Spain and Italy.
  • The element is commonly used in thermometers, barometers, as well as fluorescent lamps.
  • Mercury is poisonous, so its use has to be controlled. This means that the metal can only be used in some mediums and in particular conditions.
  • Mercury is a chemical element, having the atomic number 80.
  • The most interesting aspect about mercury is that even though this is a heavy metal, it can only exist in liquid form at room temperature.
  • It is a rare element, found in the crust of the Earth.
  • Mercury occurs as cinnabar or mercuric sulfide, even though in some cases it can also occur as livingstonite, corderoite and other minerals.
  • Mercury has been used for long time and the truth is that no scientist can be credited for discovering this metal. Mercury was familiar to civilizations living in China and India, too.
  • Mercury has traditionally been used in extracting silver and gold. However, nowadays this use has declined in popularity.
  • Atmospheric mercury is formed by volcanoes, when they erupt.
  • Human activities such as gold production, caustic soda production and disposal of waters may also produce atmospheric mercury.
  • Mercury is highly toxic, so when inhaled or ingested into the body it can cause health problems, even leading to death.
  • Liquid mercury has also been discovered thousands of years ago. The metal was found to be poisonous since ancient times.


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Romans first discovered that liquid mercury, and actually mercury in general is poisonous. They found that the exposure to this metal can lead to death when Romans observed the effects mercury had on mine workers. Nowadays, mercury is well known to cause damage to the nerves and kidneys, also being able to lead to blindness. Mercury can be extremely beneficial and useful in many processes, it just has to be handled properly.

Mercury Facts

Filed under: Mercury - 02 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

Mercury is an interesting substance, so you have to know more about it! Aside from the speculations made on the daily elements that contain it and its dangerous toxicity, facts of all kinds can be discovered about mercury. Here are some you may not have known:

1. Mercury evaporates slowly and unnoticed into the air, if it is left in opened containers.

2. Heavy items of all kinds can float on the surface of mercury.

3. Mercury cannot be combined with anything… aside from oxygen.

4. Mercury can be found in fish and shellfish species, which become toxic as a result.


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5. A volatile and explosive substance, called mercuric fulminate, can result from the combination of mercury with alcohol or nitric acid.

6. Mercury can be held in the hand, although it is liquid… but it can seep through your skin, if you do that unprotected.

7. Having reflexive properties, mercury is used in the production of mirrors.

8. Mercury can also be found in barometers, thermometers, batteries, fluorescent lamps and chemical pesticides.

These are some of the main facts that can be considered on the topic of mercury, aside from its general information. Curiosities about mercury continue to spread, as this is the kind of substance that has fascinated for many years, due to the fact that it is toxic, but also useful.

Identifying Liquid Mercury in Your Home

Filed under: Mercury - 06 Jun 2012  | Spread the word !

Mercury is a curious chemical element, being particularly interesting due to the fact that it is the only metal that is liquid at standard conditions for pressure and temperature. This metal is used in a wide array of settings, especially thermometers, barometers, float valves, manometers, mercury switches, sphygmomanometers, and other devices. With the development in technology, most people nowadays use electronic thermometers instead of the ones based on mercury. However, the sources of liquid mercury in people’s homes are multiple and diverse. As this metal can lead to serious poisoning, it is important to know how to identify it in your home. Mercury is a liquid metal that has a shiny, silvery appearance, being highly reflective.

Being exposed to large mercury doses for an extensive period of time can affect the nervous system and kidneys. Exposure to mercury can also lead to anxiety, depression, memory problems and poor coordination. In people’s homes, mercury is found in a liquid state, since it melts at temperatures of above -38 Celsius degrees. The first thing you need to do is inspect products in your home that either have or are likely to have mercury in them. Check items such as fluorescent light bulbs, electrical switches (such as thermostats controlling heating and air conditioning), thermometers, and float switches. There is also the chance of batteries containing mercury, so make sure you check them, as well. Mercury can also be found in paintings, inks, and antiques such as barometers, grandfather clocks, aircraft calibration tools, and old medical equipment. It is also important to locate fluorescent lights, since all fluorescent lamps use a small amount of mercury.

You could also find liquid mercury in drugs and cosmetics, so make sure you read the labels and prospects thoroughly. If you wonder how can you know whether the aforementioned items contain mercury, contact the manufacturer and ask for advice. You could also ask your dentist, since numerous dentists used this metal to make silver dental fillings in the past. Last, but not least, it is very important to check your food sources. Methylmercury, which is formed as a result of bacteria in water converting mercury, is very dangerous and can be found in fish. It can also be ingested through eating contaminated fish or seafood, so make sure you keep an eye out, because it is very toxic. Now that you know how can you identify liquid mercury in your home, you’d better start looking!