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Daemon
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Quicksilver

Quicksilver, commonly known as mercury and represented in the periodic table with the symbol Hg, is a chemical element with an atomic number of 80. A heavy, silvery, transition metal, mercury is the only elemental metal that is liquid at room temperature. It is used in thermometers, barometers, and other scientific apparatuses. Due to the toxicity of the element, however, the use of mercury in thermometers has been largely phased out in the interests of health and safety. What has replaced it? More...
LucOneOff
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 2:33:32 AM

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Though concerns about the element's toxicity have led to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers being largely phased out in clinical environments in favour of alcohol or galinstan-filled glass thermometers alternatively thermistor or infrared-based electronic instruments, mechanical pressure gauges and electronic strain gauge sensors have replaced mercury sphygmomanometers.
pedro
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:39:46 AM

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LucOneOff wrote:
Though concerns about the element's toxicity have led to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers being largely phased out in clinical environments in favour of alcohol or galinstan-filled glass thermometers alternatively thermistor or infrared-based electronic instruments, mechanical pressure gauges and electronic strain gauge sensors have replaced mercury sphygmomanometers.


you don't say Shame on you

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Lalokita Assesina
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:52:41 AM

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Due to the toxicity of the element, however, the use of mercury in thermometers has been largely phased out in the interests of health and safety
Archer5007
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:55:21 PM

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When I was a kid, growing up in the 60's, I can remember playing with drops of mercury, not knowing that is was dangerous. As I understand it now, it's the black film that covers mercury as it is exposed to air that is toxic. If anyone has additional information on this, please respond. Is the black film caused by oxidization?
monamagda
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:32:32 PM

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Symptoms of mercury poisoning

Although mercury is poisonous (toxic), it usually only causes problems if you inhale large amounts of it.
Very little mercury is absorbed by your body if you swallow a small amount of liquid mercury or get it on your skin for a short time. This is considered almost non-toxic and you'll probably have no symptoms.
However, if you breathe in mercury vapour or globules, it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause symptoms such as:
*A cough.
*Breathlessness.
*Chest pains, a tight chest or a burning feeling in your chest.
*Feeling irritable and nervous.
*Shaking (tremor).
*Coughing up blood.
*Breathing difficulties.
*Your eyes may be sore if mercury vapour gets into them. Your eyelids may also twitch and become red and swollen.

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/854.aspx?CategoryID=87
thar
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:09:55 PM

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It is illegal to sell mercury-containing apparatus such as mercury thermometers in the EU, although it is legal to use it.

It is the mercury vapour that is poisonous, as the elemental mercury you push around a lab bench is actually less toxic to ingest than organic complexes.

It was mercury used in the making of felt that led to brain damage, as in the character of the Mad Hatter.
The main problem in developed countries now is magnification of the pollutant up the marine food chain.

Nowadays it is its use in the extraction of gold in places like Indonesia that is lethal. THe gold is extracted with mercury and then smelted in public markets and crowded areas. Studies show that children growing up around and working around these areas have significant motor control problems from brain damage by about the age of ten, and adults exposed dying by their forties.
And the mercury that is used, and does not collect gold, stays in the environment to poison the local food supply.






It is going to be the new Minamata over the next few years. (That was when industrial waste methyl mercury was pumped into a bay in Japan over many years, causing a mysterious illness and thousands of deaths and disabilities, from those who ate the seafood).

The mercury in Indonesia is mixed with cyanide so it is soluble, it is in the groundwater, and is at Minamata levels in the water, as well as the air with recorded emissions of 100 tonnes a year of mercury in one area.

Quote:

Artisanal Gold Mining
Mercury Pollution
Estimated Population at Risk:

3.5 Million





sorry if this sounds preachy - it just seems to be one of those environmental poisoning stories that is not deemed important!
Alexander Lo
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:34:18 PM

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Some ancient Chinese emperors believed that mercury was the medicine for long life (became immoral); so they could rule the kingdom forever. Obviously, they were wrong.
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