Mercury is an element that enters the environment through human activity and natural sources. It is a natural component of the Earth’s crust; however, the majority of mercury comes from improper disposal of mercury-containing products and the burning of fossil fuels. Natural emissions of mercury occur through the erosion of rocks, eruption of volcanoes and decomposition of soil.Continue Reading
Although mercury is emitted into the atmosphere through both natural and man-made processes, only man-influenced or man-made mercury is deemed dangerous. Mercury is emitted into the air from vehicles and industrial spaces that burn fossil fuels. When emitted through these sources, mercury can travel hundreds of thousands of miles before dropping back to the Earth’s surface in the form of snow, rain and dry depositions. As a result, mercury infiltrates bodies of water and the fish we consume.
Mercury also enters the environment from the mishandling of mercury-containing products. Fluorescent lights, neon lamps, thermometers, thermostats, gauges and various laboratory solutions all contain traces of mercury. When these products are broken or improperly discarded, the mercury within them leaks out into the environment.
Mercury is known to have harmful effects on fish, birds and mammals. Due to its toxic nature, several states in the America have laws that regulate human activities involving mercury, including its removal and disposal.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
Mercury has a boiling point of 674.11 degrees Fahrenheit or 356.73 degrees Celsius. Mercury has a melting point of minus 37.89 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 38.83 degrees Celsius. It is classified as a metal on the periodic table.Full Answer >
Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that is liquid at room temperature. This heavy metal is toxic to humans. It is silver in color, and its high surface tension causes it to form into round drops on surfaces. Mercury is more volatile than any other metal and forms a colorless, odorless gas.Full Answer >
Mercury has 80 protons, which is also the element's atomic number. Mercury has an atomic weight of 200.59 amu, and its chemical symbol is Hg.Full Answer >
Seven words to describe the element mercury are quicksilver, heavy, metallic, liquid, toxic, conductor and stable. Mercury is found in period 6 and group 12 of the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 80 and an atomic weight of 200 grams/mole.Full Answer >