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Non-toxic Mercury compounds?


RyanJ
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Non-toxic Mercury compounds?

 

Hi there everyone!

 

I've been looking through a lot of compounds latly and it seems Mercury compounds are pretty damn nasty, are there any that are not toxic? Organic Mercury compounds are toxic, Mercury is toxic and inorganic Mercury compounds seem nasty but are there any that are non-toxic or are they all toxic?

 

If there are any that are non-toxic I'd be interested too know though I think the odds are slim too none.

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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I've done a fair bit of work with mercury compounds of various kinds, and to this date I've not come across a non-toxic variety.

 

Mercury seems to be a generally nasty stuff, most of the ones I have heared of or worked with have been very toxic so like I said the odds are slim that there would be a non-toxic one out there but its always interesting too see the experts break the rules and fine one :D

 

If they cna think of one it will be in the next Interesting Fact Of The Week but then again I'm guessing there arn't any :D

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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some fillings used in dentistry have mercury in them. i got 2. i cracked my tooth and the inside decayed a bit.

 

 

Yup, it does contain Mercury and it does seem too be non-toxic but its not a compound but an amalagum, an alloy of sorts :D

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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Hg(I)Cl is not toxic , because its not solvable in the human body.

 

Thats a good point - does it easily break down in the heat of the human body though? If it does then we are back to the same problem :)

 

And everything is soluable too some extent but in such small concentrations its not worth noteing :)

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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Nope its very hardly soluble.if u heat it it might solve ' date=' but you will need more than only the human body heat.

 

Try it u'll see :D[/quote']

 

No need, looks like your right though if it did dissolve I bet it woudl eb toxic :)

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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Yeah, Hg2Cl2 is also known as Calomel and has been widely used as a disinfectant for centuries.

 

In addition, the organic mercury compound 'Merbromin' is considered to be a non-toxic mercury compounds because the mercury atoms are very well 'entrenched' in the organic matrix. Short term uses pose no threat to one's health. Over the long term, however, bacteria may break down the compound into one that makes the mercury quite soluble and thusly toxic. Metallic mercury doesn't pose all too much of a problem, but bacteria can convert the metallic mercury into methyl mercury which then poses a problem.

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Yeah' date=' Hg2Cl2 is also known as Calomel and has been widely used as a disinfectant for centuries.

 

In addition, the organic mercury compound 'Merbromin' is considered to be a non-toxic mercury compounds because the mercury atoms are very well 'entrenched' in the organic matrix. Short term uses pose no threat to one's health. Over the long term, however, bacteria may break down the compound into one that makes the mercury quite soluble and thusly toxic. Metallic mercury doesn't pose all too much of a problem, but bacteria can convert the metallic mercury into methyl mercury which then poses a problem.[/quote']

 

Ah, right I see - thanks jdurg!

 

I never knew there were any bacteria that used Mercury in any way, I guess if you can get bacteria to covnert it too something you could get another kind that will convery them back, are there any bacteria that would convery the methyl mercury back into the pure mercury form?

 

Also, what is it about methyl mercury that make sit so toxic, is it just because its highly soluable?

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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Methyl mercury is VERY lipid soluble, and your brain is composed of a LOT of fats. Basically, the compound is able to cross the blood-brain barrier without any trouble at all, and then it breaks down into the mercury ions inside your brain tissue. Any compound that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier is considered 'toxic'. Heroin works in a similar manner. The structure of heroin allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier without any problems, and then once it does cross it breaks down into morphine. So heroin allows morphine to reach your brain without any trouble. Methyl and dimethyl mercury are able to do the same thing.

 

Metallic mercury itself is relatively non-toxic because it will pass through you pretty readily. A one time exposure to some elemental mercury won't do much harm. Very little of the mercury will be converted into a soluble form, so you won't get too much of an exposure. Over the long term, however, those small exposures add up and then you have issues.

 

The bacteria which convert metallic mercury into methyl/dimethyl mercury don't purposely do it. It's just that they absorb the mercury and it winds up being converted through normal metabolical processes. Basically, they 'eat' metallic mercury and 'poop' out the toxic organic forms.

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