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Mercury chemical element - facts about mercury element

Mercury chemical element - facts about mercury element

Mercury is a liquid, metallic element that is commonly used in thermometers and other measuring instruments.
Some mercury compounds are still used in antiseptics and eye ointments.

What is the chemical symbol for the element mercury?

The chemical symbol for the element mercury is:

Atomic Number: 80
Atomic Mass: 200.59 amu
Number of Protons/Electrons: 80
Number of Neutrons: 121

Who discovered the element mercury?

The element mercury was known since ancient times and it is unknown who discovered it first.
Its name originates from the planet Mercury

Is mercury poisonous?

Small amounts of liquid mercury, such as that found in a thermometer, are not especially dangerous, because the element if ingested is poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.
However, mercury compounds, known as mercury salts, and mercury vapor are toxic, particularly the vapor, which is very readily absorbed through the lungs.
It affects the brain very quickly and is retained in the kidneys, resulting in renal failure.

How do you get mercury poisoning?

Acute mercury    poisoning may result from accidental (or deliberate, in the case of suicide attempts)
ingestion of mercury salts.
Chronic mercury poisoning usually results from exposure to mercury in the workplace or ingestion of mercury from foods contaminated by industrial pollution or chemical treatment.
A pollution-related outbreak occurred in Minamata Bay, Japan where several hundred people suffered irreversible damage or death from eating contaminated fish.

Mercury poisoning symptoms

Acute mercury poisoning symptoms include:
  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting and
  • kidney failure.
Symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning include:
  • tremors albuminaria,
  • paralysis, and
  • mental disturbances.


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