Mercury In Chemistry

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INTRODUCTION

Mercury, also known as quicksilver, is a heavy transition metal with chemical symbol Hg. This symbol is derived from the Latin word “hydrargyrum”, which translates to “liquid silver”. It is a silvery-white liquid, and is also the only metal to exist in the liquid state, under standard conditions of room temperature and pressure.

The table below summarises some of the main properties of mercury.
Chemical Symbol Hg
CAS Number 7439-97-6
Atomic Number 80
Relative Atomic Mass 200.59
Density 13.6 g.cm-3 at 20°C
Melting point -38.87°C
Boiling point 356.73°C
Electronic shell [ Xe ] 4f14 5d10 6s2
Lattice Structure Rhombohedral
Electronegativity 2.0 on the Pauling scale

CHEMISTRY OF MERCURY
Relatively to other metals,
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This filling was quite popular, due to its cheap, strong and durable characteristics. But because of its toxicity, the use of mercury amalgams in dentistry has considerably decreased.

• Mercury was used in vaccines preservatives, in the form ethyl mercury, as well as in antiseptic creams, in the form of mercurochrome. Traditional Chinese medicine also contained mercury. Likewise, due to the rising awareness of the ill-effects of mercury, its use in the medical field has been minimized.

• Mercury has also been used in skin lightening creams in the past.

 Laboratory purposes
• Mercury is a visible liquid, which responses readily to temperature changes. Hence mercury was used in medical thermometers. But in the clinical field, this metal is gradually being replaced by alcohol or the alloy galinstan due to its adverse effects on human health. It is also used in barometers and manometers since it has a high
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The amplitude of exposure to the metals, dosage, or compounds of the metals, can determine the severity of the poisoning. Some heavy metals are specially known for having poisonous characteristics, some of the most toxic metals being lead, cadmium and mercury.
Mercury poisoning is also known as hydrargyria. All forms of mercury are known to trigger harmful consequences as soon as a particular limit of exposure is exceeded.

 Toxicity of mercury

 Mechanism of mercury poisoning

 Effects of mercury poisoning

Factors that determine whether health effects occur and their severity include:
• the type of mercury concerned;
• the dose;
• the age or developmental stage of the person exposed (the foetus is most susceptible);
• the duration of

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