Mercuryfulminate was discovered in 1799 by the British chemistHoward.
Due to the instability of the ion, fulminate salts are friction-sensitive explosives.
Mercury fulminate is stored under water.
Mercury compounds have been used as fungicides inpaints and on seeds and grains, as antiseptics, in electricalapplications, and as catalysts and intermediates.
Large doses of inorganic mercury compounds administered parenterally have caused embryotoxicity and teratogenicity. These effects have not been demonstrated after physiological dosing regimens or at dose levels not toxic to the mothers. No valid information is available on the reproductive toxicity of inorganic mercury compounds in humans.
Metallic mercury passesinto the brain and fetus.
There are a number of possible pathways for non-occupational exposure to inorganic forms of mercury. These include (1) eating fish or wild game near the top of the food-chain (i.e., larger fish, larger mammals) that have accumulated mercury (primarily methylmercury, but some inorganic mercury as well) in their tissues; (2) playing on or in contaminated surface soils; (3) playing with liquid mercury from broken electrical switches, thermometers, barometers, blood pressure monitors, etc.; or (4) bringing any liquid mercury or broken mercury device into the home, where vapours might build up in indoor air. Exposure from ambient air and drinking-water is usually minor.
Most human exposure to biologically significant amounts of elemental mercury occurs in the workplace. Workers in the chloralkali, electrical light bulb manufacturing, thermometer, and other industries where elemental mercury is utilized are exposed to levels much higher than the general population. Occupational mercury exposures generally occur when workers inhale elemental mercury vapours. Some dermal absorption may occur from skin contact with contaminated air, but the extent is low (less than 3% of the inhaled dose). Gold mining operations in Peru, Brazil, the Philippines, and less industrialized nations result in exposure for both miners and their families alike. Once mercury is used to amalgamate gold, the mercury is subsequently heated to melting in order to free the gold, resulting in high airborne levels of mercury. In some areas, this heating and separation process is conducted in the family home in order to ensure safeguarding of the gold product. Another exposure scenario for elemental mercury involves its use by children for play/entertainment purposes. Mercury available in school science laboratories or left over from industrial uses is occasionally taken by children and handled excessively. It is easily tracked from its initial location on shoes or clothing, and contamination may be spread to the home, automobile, or public buildings or transportation sources, creating a potential public health problem. The US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has reported an increasing number of such cases reported to its Emergency Response Section of the Division of Toxicology in recent years (ATSDR, 1999; Nickle, 1999), with measured residential indoor air mercury concentrations of up to 2 mg/m3 (and subsequent exposures requiring medical intervention) resulting from child play activities with metallic mercury.
Methylmercury compounds pass into the fetus andare excreted in milk.
all mercury salts, mirrors; as catalyst in oxidation of organic compounds; extracting gold and silver from ores; making amalgams, electric rectifiers, mercury fulminate, ammunition; In dental for filling teeth; in determining N byKjeldahl method, for Millon's reagent; as cathode in electrolysis,electro analysis, exterior house paint, ceramics, and many other uses.
Around 1603, another kind of fulminating gold ("Goldkalck" or "Gold Calx") was described as the precipitate of gold by potassium carbonate.
Prepared by gold chloride and aqueous ammonia, the explosive precipitate is largely (ClAuNH2)2NH, but on washing with ammonia hydrolysis to the more explosive (OHAuNH2)2NH.
Spilled andheated elemental mercury is particularly hazardous.
Fulminating gold was early used both far war and for entertainment.
Fulminates can be formed from metals, such as silver and mercury, dissolved in nitric acid and reacted with alcohol.
Metallic mercury and inorganic mercury compounds are .
Alfred Nobel put mercury fulminate into blasting caps for detonating dynamite.
: Capable of causing mercury and cyanide poisoning.
Later mercury fulminate became widely used in primers for rifle and pistol ammunition.
felt; mercury fulminate; destroying phylloxera.
Urine samples are considered to be the best determinant of body burden of mercury from long-term exposure to elemental and inorganic mercury. Blood samples are useful primarily in cases of short-term, higher-level exposures to these forms, but are not as reliable as an indicator of total body burden in longer-term exposures. Most analytical methods do not differentiate between inorganic and organic mercury; thus, total mercury concentrations in blood reflect body burden of total mercury. Inorganic forms of mercury are not excreted to any significant amount in scalp hair, making hair an inappropriate biomarker of inorganic mercury exposure.
: Capable of causing mercury and cyanide poisoning.
Suzuki et al. (1992) estimated the elimination half-life from urine to be 25.9 days following a short-term exposure to a high level of mercuric chloride (13.8 mg/kg body weight) (Suzuki et al., 1992). Using a two-compartment model, elimination half-lives in urine of workers exposed for 20–45 h to >0.1 mg/m3 of elemental mercury vapour were estimated to be 28 and 41 days for a fast and slow phase, respectively (Barregard et al., 1992).
Mercurous ChromateUse: Coloring porcelain and chinaware green.
Occupational studies show that recent mercury exposure is reflected in blood and urine (IPCS, 1991; Naleway et al., 1991). However, at low exposure levels (3), correlation with blood or urine mercury levels is low (Lindstedt et al., 1979). Blood levels of mercury peak sharply during and soon after short-term exposures, indicating that measurements of blood mercury levels should be made soon after exposure (Cherian et al., 1978). The half-life of mercury in the blood is only 3 days, attesting to the importance of taking blood samples as soon after exposure as possible. In the case of low-level long-term exposure, urine samples provide the best indicator of body burden.
Grand rounds: elemental mercury poisoning.
Urinary mercury measurement is reliable and simple and provides rapid identification of individuals with elevated mercury levels (Naleway et al., 1991). It is a more appropriate marker of exposure to inorganic mercury, since organic mercury represents only a small fraction of urinary mercury. Urinary mercury levels have been found to correlate better with exposure than blood inorganic mercury concentrations following long-term, low-level occupational exposure to elemental mercury vapour (Yoshida, 1985). There may be marked diurnal variation in the urinary concentration of mercury (Schaller, 1996).
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