Mercury - Hg

Find on this page the main information about mercury (Hg): physical characteristics, dangerousness, effects on health as well as mercury vapor detection and the appropriate respiratory protection equipment (gas mask, powered air purifying respirator, SCBA).

Mercury (Hg) properties 

Mercury - CAS number 7439-97-6 - also known as quicksilver is a naturally occurring silvery liquid element. Hg is naturally present in the environment (volcanoes) but its presence is largely due to industrial activity, refining, mining and fossil combustion.

CAS TWA (8 hours) STEL (15 minutes) LEL IP Density / Air Filter / SCBA
7439-97-6 0,02 mg/m³ - - 10.4 eV 6.93 Hg

Mercury has been used for a long time for dental amalgams (fillings), thermometers and pressure monitors, fluorescent bulbs, antiseptics, cosmetics, cells and batteries, in gold panning or as a preservative in vaccines.

Mercury effects on health

Despite its wide range of applications, mercury is an element that has been gradually abandoned because of its toxicity. Indeed the WHO (World Health Organization) considers mercury to be one of the 10 chemicals of great concern to public health.

The dangerousness of mercury lies in the fact that its use, in particular in industrial processes, is likely to easily become mercury vapors. These vapors are recognized as extremely toxic to humans and classified as neurotoxic, cytotoxic, mutagenic, reprotoxic and carcinogenic.

Chronic exposure to mercury vapors, inhalation of low concentrations of Hg vapor over a long period, deteriorates the nervous system and causes many health effects: fatigue, fever, headache, memory impairment, tremors, renal failure. Exposure to high mercury vapor concentrations results in severe acute poisoning, which can lead to death from encephalitis and pulmonary hemorrhage.

Mercury detector

Mercury respiratory protection mercury (Hg)