Guest Post: The Real Dangers of Mercury (Synopsis)

“All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” –Theophrastus Phillipus Auroleus Bombastus von Hohenheim

Some scientific topics are so far outside my area of expertise that I need to bring in outside help to do it justice. Today, we’re lucky enough to have a guest post from Adrianne Stone, who walks us through the history of mercury and its actual toxicity in various compounds and doses.

Image credit: Associated Press, via http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Mercury-pollution-a-step-closer-to-being-curbed-5052908.php.
Image credit: Associated Press, via http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Mercury-pollution-a-step-closer-to-being-curbed-5052908.php.

If you’ve ever simply heard the word mercury bandied about without stopping to ask whether it’s elemental mercury, methylmercury, ethylmercury or some other molecular compound, you might be surprised to learn that — just like methyl, ethyl or isopropyl alcohols — the shape of the mercury-containing molecule can have vastly different effects on the human body.

Image credit: Adrianne Stone.
Image credit: Adrianne Stone.

Go and read the whole, fascinating story here.