Mercury is the smallest planet, orbiting our Sun in just 88 days and boasting a metallic core comprising 61% of its total volume. Due to its high density, mercury alloys easily with gold and silver; its rapid expansion rate made Mercury ideal as thermometer material until digital ones were introduced as thermometer alternatives.
It is a natural element
Mercury (Hg), is an element that occurs naturally and takes many different forms in nature. At standard temperatures it appears as a heavy and silvery-white liquid state. Aluminium is unique among common metals in that it exists as a liquid at room temperature, which makes it useful for devices such as manometers for measuring pressure and thermometers, chemical catalysts, and dental amalgam fillings. Mercury can also be found in compounds and inorganic salts such as cinnabar, which is a reddish ore. Mercury can be toxic when inhaled and can lead to symptoms ranging from rashes to mental disturbance. Mercury has the ability to travel through bloodstream into organs and tissues throughout body causing accumulations within organs and tissues as it accumulates; at higher exposure levels this could result in brain damage, tremors, or personality changes.
Mercury differs significantly from Earth in that its surface temperatures are extremely hot, without an atmosphere or any significant atmosphere to speak of. Nonetheless, Mercury does possess a thin exosphere composed of particles blasted off from solar radiation and micrometeoroid impacts which then are deflected back towards its center by magnetic fields in this exosphere.
Due to Mercury’s elliptical orbit, its path never crosses directly over its surface; this unique characteristic, known as a transit, allows skywatchers to witness this planet. Ancient Sumerians recognized this phenomenon 5,000 years ago and associated it with Hermes and Nabu as gods.
Mercury is an inorganic element, and thus cannot be created or destroyed, yet human activities have an influence in cycling it around in the environment. Mercury emissions come from mining and fossil fuel combustion activities and it’s used in household products like thermometers and fluorescent lamps – it may also be inhaled through mining dust. Mercury exposure may result in brain and kidney damage as well as vomiting, skin rashes, dermatitis and eye irritation; mercury poisoning also poses risks to aquatic animals such as fish and shellfish which then transforms mercury into even more toxic forms that humans as methylmercury is converted from mercury into more toxic form by these organisms into forms more toxic for human consumption by these organisms before returning back into our waterways again.
It is toxic
Mercury is an extremely toxic element, with negative impacts on the nervous, digestive, immune, skin, eyes, kidneys, heart and reproductive systems as well as the development of brain tissue in infants and children. According to estimates by the National Research Council, around 60,000 babies born each year with irreversible neurological problems due to mercury exposure before birth could have occurred from prenatal exposure alone; its danger is highest for pregnant, nursing or planning to become pregnant women over the coming year.
Mercury occurs naturally in the earth’s crust; however, human activities have led to its release into the environment through fossil fuel combustion, mercury smelting and solid waste combustion. Most of this mercury ends up in the atmosphere but some can seep into soils and water sources as well. Mercury comes in both organic (eg methylmercury) and metallic forms which are both toxic to people.
Elemental mercury is a toxic metal that vaporizes easily when breathed in, making it a health risk when inhaled. Mercury inhalation can damage the lungs and gastrointestinal tract as well as lead to symptoms such as memory loss, mood swings, irritability, excessive shyness and depression; pins-and-needles sensation, vision changes, deafness muscle incoordination loss of control as well as kidney effects or respiratory failure or death in higher amounts.
Inhalation of elemental mercury can be especially dangerous if inhaled as small droplets that penetrate the lungs and penetrate further, potentially causing lung damage and pneumonia. Mercury vapor may bind with proteins and inhibit their functions – particularly selenoenzymes such as thioredoxin reductase that helps combat cell damage due to oxidation.
Mercury can enter the environment through various human activities, including fossil fuel combustion, coal-fired power plants, smelting and mercury mining. Mercury-containing products disposed of improperly can also release mercury into surface and ground waters; in particular thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and medical devices that contain mercury-containing components. Mercury can also travel via wind and rain currents into polar regions and higher elevations where it eventually deposits as solid deposits.
It is a by-product of mining
Mercury is a heavy metal that was widely used in producing thermometers, barometers and other instruments, dental amalgams, preservatives and pigments. Mercury can also act as a neurotoxin and cause health issues for users – specifically kidney damage and nervous system effects, leading to even tremors!
Mercury pollution can come from mining, electricity generation and waste incineration as well as fossil fuel combustion and manufacturing activities. Mercury is a toxic pollutant which enters our water supplies and is consumed by humans and animals alike. Mercury build-up can lead to mental retardation, gastrointestinal distress and cardiac diseases in pregnant women and children; its harmfulness increases over time. Environmental impacts vary depending on its chemical form – elemental mercury adsorbed onto particles and ions can travel locally while vaporized mercury may travel farther afield; its environmental impacts vary accordingly.
Mercury can be found in many forms; one form being elemental mercury, commonly referred to as quicksilver. This form can be found in an ore known as cinnabar and when exposed to air it emits vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed through skin contact, acting as an allergen and neurotoxin that may lead to tremors, mood swings, irritability and memory loss – in high enough doses it could even prove lethal.
Mercury mining occurs globally from cinnabar ore, typically mined through sinking shafts and running drifts. Before World War II, miners were predominantly men of mixed Mexican-Indian heritage who worked manually using outdated techniques.
Mercury is an element naturally present in our environment, yet its presence can be hazardous. Mercury pollution is released into the environment during manufacturing of certain industrial products like batteries and fluorescent bulbs, or by disposing of mercury-containing items. Mercury exposure can have harmful effects on nerves as well as kidneys and liver function.
It is a pollutant
Mercury is an environmental toxin that can cause irreparable brain damage and other serious health issues, both naturally in oceans and atmospheric layers, as well as through releases from power plants, factories and waste incinerators. Once released into the environment it finds its way to lakes, rivers and oceans where small organisms absorb or inhale it before moving up the food chain until reaching humans; especially vulnerable are children and pregnant women; eating contaminated fish is the main source of mercury exposure in America, so whenever possible individuals should avoid doing this practice when possible.
Mercury enters the environment through emissions from coal-fired power plants, mercury cement production facilities and municipal and medical waste incinerators. Once released into the air, mercury can be deposited on land and waterways through both dry deposition from windstorms and wet deposition by rainfall and snowfall, before being absorbed by bacteria which convert inorganic mercury compounds into organic methylmercury, eventually consumed by fish before eventually making its way back to humans via fish consumption and transference causing tremors, memory loss personality changes and even damage on chromosome damage in humans.
Mercury stands out among planets by featuring bright streaks called crater rays – crushed rock particles from an impact crater which reflect more light than larger rocks, thus appearing brighter. Mercury also stands alone among planets as it does not possess an ozone layer to protect itself against harmful UV radiation.
Mercury emissions come mostly from coal-burning power plants, factories, incinerators and waste disposal facilities. Once released into the environment it settles out onto soils, rivers and oceans where it is consumed by small organisms or breathed in by humans – often pregnant women, children or the elderly being especially susceptible. It accumulates along food chains as it is slowly taken up by larger fish that then pass it along their food chain to larger fish as well as ultimately humans themselves – potentially becoming particularly dangerous during gestation, birthing process as it travels up the food chain to eventually reach bigger fish that eventually catch bigger fish which accumulates with bigger fish eventually reaching humans themselves! Mercury poisoning should therefore be prevented by humans only being responsible.
Though mercury pollution cannot be eliminated entirely from the environment, its releases from sources that are likely to be subject to environmental laws can help limit its presence in it. Many products that contain mercury such as thermometers, thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs can be safely disposed of when no longer needed; just make sure to read their chemical labels and Safety Data Sheet before doing so.