The Dangers of Mercury

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by cw2772
Last updated 7 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Chemical Elements
Grade:
9

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The Dangers of Mercury

The Dangers of Mercury By: Calvin

Where is it found?

Staying Safe

Health and Environment

Properties of Mercury

Mercury is the 80th element on the periodic table, with the symbol of Hg. At room temperature, it is a silver liquid metal. It has a high density and a boiling point of 356 degrees Celsius and a melting point of -38 degrees Celsius. It is a heavy metal and a poor conductor of heat, although a good conductor of electricity. Click on the video below to learn more about mercury.

Mercury is highly toxic to humans and animals, with a variety of harmful effects. Exposure to mercury can cause damage to the brain, dna damage, depression, and even death. In the environment, fish in particular tend to consume mercury and contain build ups of it inside of them. This causes slower growth, abnormal behavior, and death, depending on the level of exposure. Mercury has a record of being dumped into the oceans by corporations that led to high levels of mercury in the ecosystems nearby.

Click me to learn more about mercury!

Mercury, although a lot less common than it was before its dangers were realized, still exists in many of the products we use today. Some examples of where we find mercury today is in thimerosal which is used in vaccines. Another example are compact fluorescent light bulbs. They are also found, as said before in the fish that we eat. The mercury that fish ingest are passed on to predators higher in the food chain, which are then passed to us after it has all been built up as it climbed the food chain, as seen in the diagram below.

Now that you know about the dangers of mercury, here are some ways to reduce your exposure to it. The best way to do so is to always know what the items that you are buying contain, and to find alternatives that do not use mercury to replace those items. Knowledge is always the best way to keeping yourself safe when it comes to products.For example, LED lights are good alternatives to compact fluorescent lights as they are mercury free, so they pose less of a threat.


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