When heated, mercury expands rapidly. Mercury is easily observable due to its radiance and opacity. C. Mercury is a poisonous chemical. H2O(l) + 2Hg(s) → 2Hg(l) -->?--> 3Hg(g) + energy
The most common use for mercury is as a contact lens coating because of its good adhesive properties and ability to absorb light over a wide wavelength range. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to mercury. Even small amounts of mercury can cause serious health problems over time.
Mercury is toxic to humans, animals, plants, and the environment through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin. It is very harmful to fish embryos when they are still inside their mothers' bodies. Fish with high levels of contamination may appear to be normal but could be harmful if eaten by children or others who might not realize the danger. Water sources contaminated with mercury should not be consumed even in small amounts.
People who work with chemicals such as mercury may be exposed to dangerous levels of this element in the air or in food. These workers are at increased risk of developing cancer, neurological disorders, or reproductive problems.
At room temperature, exposed elemental mercury may evaporate into an odorless, deadly vapor. When heated, it transforms into a colorless and odorless gas. Even without being heated, however, elemental mercury will slowly dissolve into other substances. The more soluble it is, the faster it will dissolve- which can be good or bad depending on the situation.
When you melt pure mercury, you get a clear, liquid metal that does not solidify even at temperatures below zero degrees C. Because it's so reactive, any impurities present in elemental mercury will almost certainly end up in whatever you're melting it in. For example, if you were to try to make a thermometer out of pure mercury, it would quickly poison anyone who came near it because it contains enough impurities to hurtling bacteria.
As you might expect, there are very few applications where this property of mercury is useful. One application does exist, but it's such a dangerous process that only a few labs do it anymore- including the CDC's laboratory. If you were to send some blood samples down to the CDC for testing, they would use mercury vapor to treat them before analyzing them for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and malaria.
Elemental mercury, often known as quicksilver, is a gleaming, silver-white metal that is liquid at ambient temperature. However, elemental mercury can also be dissolved in acid to produce mercuric acid, or it can be oxidized by oxygen to produce mercurous oxide.
Elemental mercury is used in thermometers, barometers, and chemical tests because its solidification point is low enough for use above 0 °C. It is also used in fluorescent light bulbs and solar cells because its photoelectric properties make it useful as a light detector. The metal is flammable and becomes incandescent when heated above 430 °C. It is also toxic if inhaled or ingested.
Elemental mercury is used in laboratory experiments as a reducing agent due to its affinity for oxygen. This makes it useful in studying organic reactions because it absorbs energy from the oxidizing reagents used in these experiments.
Mercury has two allotropes: metallic mercury and amalgamated mercury. Amalgamated mercury is obtained by heating elemental mercury with other materials such as zinc or tin. The resulting mixture is called "mercury powder" and can be molded into any shape suitable for use in experiments.
The fulminate of mercury (II) is sensitive to stress, friction, and heat. Its breakdown products comprise fumes of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and mercury, the latter of which is exceedingly hazardous. Ingestion of mercury fulminate is extremely poisonous and can result in death. It acts on the digestive system, causing stomach pain and diarrhea. It can also cause a serious condition called amalgam intoxication if it gets into your body through your dental fillings.
Mercury fulminate is used as an explosive in fireworks and gunpowder. It has several names including "mercury powder," " fulminic mercury," and " white powder." This highly toxic substance is dangerous to handle without proper protection. The only acceptable use for mercury fulminate is as a component of dynamite. Other uses are illegal except under special circumstances such as self-defense or animal control.
People who work with mercury fulminate face risks of poisoning if they touch their eyes, noses, or mouths because these areas will be touched during work procedures. Hand washing is essential after handling mercury fulminate. Otherwise, you should wash your hands immediately with soap and water.
Fumes are one of the most dangerous aspects of mercury fulminate. If enough of the compound is released, it can lead to severe health problems. Fumes are toxic to humans and animals.