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Mercury (element)

About: Mercury (element) is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 38957 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 707704 citation(s). The topic is also known as: Hg & quicksilver.
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Book
01 Apr 1990-
Abstract: General principles. Introduction. Soil processes and the behaviour of heavy metals. The origin of heavy metals in soils. Methods of analysis for heavy metals in soils. Individual elements. Arsenic. Cadmium. Chromium and nickel. Copper. Lead. Maganese and cobalt. Mercury. Selenium. Zinc. Other less abundant elements of potential environment significance. Appendices.

4,024 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review covers the toxicology of mercury and its compounds and leads to general discussion of evolutionary aspects of mercury, protective and toxic mechanisms, and ends on a note that mercury is still an “element of mystery.”
Abstract: This review covers the toxicology of mercury and its compounds. Special attention is paid to those forms of mercury of current public health concern. Human exposure to the vapor of metallic mercury dates back to antiquity but continues today in occupational settings and from dental amalgam. Health risks from methylmercury in edible tissues of fish have been the subject of several large epidemiological investigations and continue to be the subject of intense debate. Ethylmercury in the form of a preservative, thimerosal, added to certain vaccines, is the most recent form of mercury that has become a public health concern. The review leads to general discussion of evolutionary aspects of mercury, protective and toxic mechanisms, and ends on a note that mercury is still an "element of mystery."

1,745 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jun 2000-Chemosphere
TL;DR: The organic forms of mercury are generally more toxic to aquatic organisms and birds than the inorganic forms, and the form of retained mercury in birds is more variable and depends on species, target organ and geographical site.
Abstract: Mercury at low concentrations represents a major hazard to microorganisms. Inorganic mercury has been reported to produce harmful eAects at 5 lg/l in a culture medium. Organomercury compounds can exert the same eAect at concentrations 10 times lower than this. The organic forms of mercury are generally more toxic to aquatic organisms and birds than the inorganic forms. Aquatic plants are aAected by mercury in water at concentrations of 1 mg/l for inorganic mercury and at much lower concentrations of organic mercury. Aquatic invertebrates widely vary in their susceptibility to mercury. In general, organisms in the larval stage are most sensitive. Methyl mercury in fish is caused by bacterial methylation of inorganic mercury, either in the environment or in bacteria associated with fish gills or gut. In aquatic matrices, mercury toxicity is aAected by temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and water hardness. A wide variety of physiological, reproductive and biochemical abnormalities have been reported in fish exposed to sublethal concentrations of mercury. Birds fed inorganic mercury show a reduction in food intake and consequent poor growth. Other (more subtle) eAects in avian receptors have been reported (i.e., increased enzyme production, decreased cardiovascular function, blood parameter changes, immune response, kidney function and structure, and behavioral changes). The form of retained mercury in birds is more variable and depends on species, target organ and geographical site. With few exceptions, terrestrial plants (woody plants in particular) are generally insensitive to the harmful eAects of mercury compounds. ” 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

1,620 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper presents a broad overview and synthesis of current knowledge and understanding pertaining to all major aspects of mercury in the atmosphere. The significant physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of this element and its environmentally relebant species encountered in the atmosphere are examined. Atmospheric pathways and processes considered herein include anthropogenic as well as natural sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere, aerial transport and dispersion (including spatial and temporal variability), atmospheric transformations (both physical and chemical types), wet and dry removal/deposition processes to Earth's surface. In addition, inter-compartmental (air-water/soil/vegetation) transfer and biogeochemical cycling of mercury are considered and discussed. The section on numerical modelling deals with atmospheric transport models as well as process-oriented models. Important gaps in our current knowledge of mercury in the atmospheric environment are identified, and suggestions for future areas of research are offered.

1,573 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Whereas removal of certain forms of mercury, such as that in blood-pressure cuffs, will not cause increased health risks, removal of each of the three major sources described in this article entails health risks and thus poses a dilemma to the health professional.
Abstract: ercury has been used commercially and medically for centuries. In the past it was a common constituent of many medications. It is still used in hospitals in thermometers and blood-pressure cuffs and commercially in batteries, switches, and fluorescent light bulbs. Large quantities of metallic mercury are employed as electrodes in the electrolytic production of chlorine and sodium hydroxide from saline. These uses still give rise to accidental and occupational exposures. 1 Today, however, exposure of the general population comes from three major sources: fish consumption, dental amalgams, and vaccines. Each has its own characteristic form of mercury and distinctive toxicologic profile and clinical symptoms. Dental amalgams emit mercury vapor that is inhaled and absorbed into the bloodstream. Dentists and anyone with an amalgam filling are exposed to this form of mercury. Liquid metallic mercury (quicksilver) still finds its way into homes, causing a risk of poisoning from the vapor and creating major cleanup costs. Humans are also exposed to two distinct but related organic forms, methyl mercury (CH 3 Hg + ) and ethyl mercury (CH 3 CH 2 Hg + ). Fish are the main if not the only source of methyl mercury, since it is no longer used as a fungicide. In many countries, babies are exposed to ethyl mercury through vaccination, since this form is the active ingredient of the preservative thimerosal used in vaccines. Whereas removal of certain forms of mercury, such as that in blood-pressure cuffs, will not cause increased health risks, removal of each of the three major sources described in this article entails health risks and thus poses a dilemma to the health professional. Exposure to mercury from dental amalgams and fish consumption has been a concern for decades, but the possible risk associated with thimerosal is a much newer concern. These fears have been heightened by a recent recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the allowable or safe daily intake of methyl mercury be reduced from 0.5 µg of mercury per kilogram of body weight per day, the threshold established by the World Health Organization in 1978, 2 to 0.1 µg of mercury per kilogram per day. 3 Table 1 summarizes the clinical toxicologic features of mercury vapor and methyl and ethyl mercury. It also includes data on inorganic divalent mercury, since this is believed to be the toxic species produced in tissues after inhalation of the vapor. 5 It is also responsible for kidney damage after exposure to ethyl mercury, since ethyl mercury is rapidly converted to the inorganic form. 13 Inorganic mercury as both mercuric and mercurous salts was also the chief cause of acrodynia, a childhood disease that is now mainly of historical interest. 14 The clinical symptoms of acrodynia consist of painful, red, swollen fingers and toes in association with photophobia, irritability, asthenia, and hypertension. It is believed to be a hypersensitivity reaction. m

1,444 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
202236
2021755
2020956
20191,052
20181,084
20171,018

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Topic's top 5 most impactful authors

Sean C. Solomon

188 papers, 4.5K citations

Xinbin Feng

157 papers, 8.8K citations

Milena Horvat

106 papers, 4.4K citations

Armando C. Duarte

48 papers, 1.6K citations

Mae Sexauer Gustin

47 papers, 2.5K citations