Mercury: A Toxicological Review - Essay Example

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The aim of this paper “Mercury: A Toxicological Review” is to discuss various effects that mercury has on the human body, and relationship between it, especially in regards to autism and birth defects. A heavy metal, mercury is widely considered one of the most toxic substances on earth…
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Mercury: A Toxicological Review
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Download file to see previous pages 2. HgCl2: A white, corrosive, crystalline salt. It is sparingly soluble in water and is used in some pesticides.
3. Organic bivalent mercury compounds: Very volatile and able to be absorbed into the body through all portals (openings) including the skin. These compounds are often times used as fungicides and as preservatives and in manufacturing processes.
4. Methylmercury: Water soluble form of mercury that can pass the brain barrier and cause central nervous system damage. This is the most toxic of all mercury forms and is the result of a conversion of soluble mercury into an insoluble metallic mercury byproduct.
Mercury is widely used in laboratory work for making such things as thermometers, barometers, diffusion pumps, along with many other instruments. It is also used in making mercury-vapor lamps and advertising signs, as well as in mercury switches and other electronic apparatus. Various other uses include such things as making pesticides, cercury cells for caustic soda and chlorine production, dental preparations, anti-fouling paint, batteries, and catalysts.
Mercury is a virulent poison which is easily and readily absorbed through the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, or through unbroken skin. This element acts as a cumulative poison and dangerous levels are readily attained in air. "Air saturated with mercury vapor at 20C contains a concentration that exceeds the toxic limit many times." (Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2003). The danger in regards to this element actually increases significantly at higher temperatures, and it is therefore important that mercury be handled with extreme care.
The toxicological effects of Mercury and the...
It is also used in making mercury-vapor lamps and advertising signs, as well as in mercury switches and other electronic apparatus. Various other uses include such things as making pesticides, cercury cells for caustic soda and chlorine production, dental preparations, anti-fouling paint, batteries, and catalysts.
Mercury is a virulent poison which is easily and readily absorbed through the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, or through unbroken skin. This element acts as a cumulative poison and dangerous levels are readily attained in air. “Air saturated with mercury vapor at 20C contains a concentration that exceeds the toxic limit many times.” (Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2003). The danger in regards to this element actually increases significantly at higher temperatures, and it is therefore important that mercury be handled with extreme care.
The toxicological effects of Mercury and the correlation to birth defects and autism are significant in this issue. Mercury is a poisonous, metallic element which is present throughout the environment. Birth defects can be caused by mercury in numerous ways, one of the most common being due to the fact that mercury is released into the environment by a number of different sources including burning fossil fuels, coal combusting power plants, lead smelters, mining operations and chlorine producers. “Mercury floats in the air as vapor or binds to particles and eventually falls to earth, settling in sediment, oceans and lakes or re-enters the atmosphere by evaporation.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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