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DerAlte
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[*] posted on 26-6-2007 at 21:37


Pyrovus - today's drugs are every bit as dangerous! Maybe a slight exaggeration, but I have been there and suffered. Everyone, doctors, anyone who can legally prescribe, hospitals etc., even the the FDA which is meant to oversee these problems, are to some extent guilty. Legal drugs kill in the region of 1/2 million people in the US annually, far more than illegal.

I refuse to take any drug that has not been on the market for 10 years, and any that contains fluorine. The fluorine drugs have had more problems than any other. The mammalian systen does not expect organic fluorine compounds - in some cases the F atom is innocuously bonded but in others is more like Sarin gas. A heavily promoted drug for osteoporosis is in fact a chemotherapy agent for cancer - it has the same phosphonate P-C link as Sarin nerve gas (no F, though). It acts by causing the death of cells that are designed by nature to consume old bone cells and replace them with new.

Cholesterol is the base model for all steroid and sex hormones. Statins are designed to minimize production of cholesterol in the liver. The doses suggested by the pharmaceutical companies caused my level to drop below 100 total. At which point the body suffers from innumable problems because there is not enough substate. I won't bore you with the symptoms. My Cholesterol level before treatment was normal - just below 200 (US not EU units) but it was thought a good precautionary measure against heart disease. All studies (except possibly those by the manufacturers, the ones the FDA relies upon) show that there is no correlation between taking statins and death rate whatsoever. Sorry, I'm ranting again...

Re Toxicities, how about the following:- LDo

Brucine, 1mg/kg, oral

LSD, 100 microgram per 50 kg adult, for a nice (or a bad) demented trip lasting several hours, possible recurrence life long

Acetylcholine, nerve transmitter, tolerated orally but IV causes action the heart to stop within a minute, dose unknown but very small... other neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, etc are potent but not as potent, IIRC.

Potassium chloride, orally tolerated at the several gram level, but intavenously used as a method of execution.

Polonium 210, recently in the news, nanogram levels kill in two weeks due to radioactivity.

General Question: How do I produce those neat boxed quotes? Couldn't find it in FAQ...

Regards,

DerAlte
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not_important
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[*] posted on 26-6-2007 at 23:03


Quote:
Originally posted by DerAlte
General Question: How do I produce those neat boxed quotes? Couldn't find it in FAQ...

Regards,

DerAlte


quote ...text... /quote with square brackets around the quote and /quote

Quote:
LSD, 100 microgram per 50 kg adult, for a nice (or a bad) demented trip lasting several hours, possible recurrence life long


As 250 ug seems to have been considered a good but not excess dose, that means an awful lot of people reached that point. Somehow none of those people that I know ended up with a bad trip, or any reoccurring problem; provided you discount those that turned Republican or Conservative Party in their later years. Of course that was likely CIA provided acid, or Owsley's finest, not street crap consisting of who knows what that did damage people.

And that's hardly the proper usage of the turn "LD50", as even a bad trip doesn't fit the definition of 'dead' and thus the dose isn't lethal.
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[*] posted on 27-6-2007 at 07:55


Sorry to move this OT, but I personally take DerAlte's comments to be offensive and misinformed. Have you ever worked in the pharmaceutical industry DerAlte? Do you have ANY undertanding of just how much work goes into the research of a new drug? Do you have the slightest idea how extensive the research is that goes into a drug before it even gets approval for human trials?

Your post infers that there is no research done on drugs and that as soon as they are made in a lab they are sent out and tested on human guinnea pigs without any analysis of the effects on humans. For every ONE drug that is accepted into the market by the FDA and other associated unions across the world there are at LEAST a dozen drugs that are stopped in the middle of the clinical trial phase due to toxicity issues or lack of efficacy.

Everybody out there is bitching and whining that their drugs are too expensive or that they are too dangerous. It costs BILLIONS to produce a drug. Not millions, but BILLIONS of dollars. Granted, there are in many cases unexpected Adverse Events which occur due to some completely rare and unexpected interaction with another drug, but that happens with everything.

I work in the pharmaceutical industry and spend at least fifty hours in the office every week without vacation in order to ensure that drugs are safe and ready for the market. You have no idea what the process is behind clinical trials unless you've worked in the industry. The media could give a fuck about what actually goes on since everyone on CNN and FOXNEWS thinks they know everything if they hear one sentence.




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gsd
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[*] posted on 27-6-2007 at 08:12


All this rather serious discussion abut drugs reminds me of a great quote by Mark Twain:

" Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint" ;)

gsd

[Edited on by gsd]
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[*] posted on 27-6-2007 at 21:22


From a page about liquid mirror telescopes, which in this case is a 2.7m diameter pool of mercury.

Quote:

A study was made of the mercury vapour concentations at the UBC/Laval 2.7-m Liquid-Mirror Observatory under various conditions. The principal results are the following:

Vapour concentrations inside the observatory depend strongly on the degree of ventilation. Even a small amount of ventilation, is effective at reducing the vapours to acceptable levels. (the Canadian legal norm is 0.05 mg/m3 on the basis of 8h/day, 5d/week exposition without protection)
During normal operation of the observatory, in which the roof is open, vapour concentrations are below 0.1mg/m3 for all but the first hour after implacement of the mercury on the mirror.
The mercury is stabilized by a thin surface layer of oxide which forms naturally. Although pure mercury doesn't oxide alone, oxidation is catalysed by water vapour and impurities on time-scale of a few hours. This surface layer reduces the rate of evaporation of the mercury by more than five orders of magnitude.
After the oxide layer is established, vapour concentrations within the observatory are inversely proportional to the ventilation fan capacity. The width of the oxide layer increases constantly with time, and after two weeks of operation, the evaporation rate is negligible.
During startup and the first few hours of operation ot the mirror, vapour levels in the observatory can be minimized by preventing ventilation. High vapour concentrations are thereby restricted to a thin layer of air above the mirror resulting in a low evaporation rate.



Theres even a photo of someone standing looking at the thing - no protective gear at all.

So as long as you have plenty of ventillation, playing with a few grams of mercury probably wont do you any lasting harm. On reflection, I'm not saying throw caution to the wind, just that the risks are sometimes blown out of all proportion (sorry about the awful puns).

The same kind of hype applies to fear of lead.

[Edited on 28-6-2007 by Twospoons]




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DerAlte
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[*] posted on 28-6-2007 at 13:06


Jdurg said:

[quote...Sorry to move this OT, but I personally take DerAlte's comments to be offensive and misinformed.../quote]

It always pains me to offend anyone, Jdurg, so please accept my apology. I have never worked in the industry. The post was certainly not an ad hominem attack on you personally, nor an ad homines attack on your colleagues, the chemists, biochemists and medical researchers working in the pharmaceutical industry. Rather, it was an indictment on the current state of medical/drug practice in this country.

As for being misinformed, compared with you obviously my knowledge is minimal; but to assume that all not involved in the industry are ignorant uneducated dumb-asses who rely on FOX and CNN as references is somewhat discourteous. I do not have cable. I do watch the main networks but take all media with a grain of salt. How many fantastic breakthroughs in cancer treatment have you seen reported? 100? It’s still around as #1 killer. My sources are as reliable as I can make them; PubMed, RxList, and the various government agencies, AMA journal, Lancet, etc.

The inference about the lack of testing is yours, not mine. I cannot see where I inferred that.

I am very conscious that extensive mammalian animal tests are done by the industry and that any toxicity revealed is taken very seriously. I would be shocked to learn otherwise. But animal and humans often react to poisons and drugs in quite different ways. Even different races react differently due to differing genotypes. It is often very difficult to detect side-effects, even if the drugs are efficacious – especially the psychosomatic side-effects. You can’t keep studying the animals for years, either. Ultimately it is only the human tests that really matter. That poses a problem that is almost insoluble, I agree. Hence for any progress, risks must be taken at some point.

In the case of thalidomide (1962) the FDA acted properly and quickly – it was no great disaster in the US unlike in Europe. In fact the FDA has a very good record until quite recently. So what has changed?

Answer: the FDA and the way it is influenced by the manufacturers. Universities also finance their research by donations from drug makers. Thus there is a lack of true independence between those regulated and the regulators, and research may be a bit biased. It’s hard to bite the hand that feeds you. It also takes guts like Dr David Graham’s to be a whistle blower.

With regard to toxicity, most of today’s ethical drugs have an TLdo greatly above the suggested dose. This was not always true – eg. Barbiturates. Guess what was designated to replace them as a safe hypnotic – thalidomide.

I cannot and do not argue that the majority of drugs are not safe nor efficacious. I use, sparingly, the proton-pump blocker omeprazole, generic Prilosec, which works like a charm. But I try good old calcium carbonate first. Antibiotics work fine except for the overuse problems causing resistant strains – not completing the course of dosage once you feel better does this. The user and the medical profession are guilty here, not the manufacturer.

With regard to the PPI’s why do we need the more expensive Purple pill if Prilosec essentially blocks all acid production? There are too many copycat drugs being produced at increasingly higher cost that serve no new purpose. Everyone wants to horn in on the profits. That’s the name of the game. I no longer invest in drug companies, not because of any ethical concern but because the risk/reward ratio is too great in today’s legal climate. Emotion causes bad investments. I have owned stock in Merck. Bristol-Meyers and others in the past. Profitably.

We have to rely on the manufacturer’s tests for the safety of drugs. There are no longer any truly independent bodies who can afford to research every new drug. The FDA decided to speed up the process rather than use its old caution – a political decision. Unfortunately there are two problems with that. Financial interest in the outcome – after spending a billion dollars – is natural, and the test sample that has to be relied upon is necessarily small. I am reasonably expert at statistics – not the media type but mathematical theoretical statistics. I shudder at the poor correlation coefficients accepted routinely by the medical profession as proof of efficacy, non toxicity and no negative outcomes. First, do no harm…

From personal experience, perhaps biasing me somewhat, I have learned to be cautious. Re statins see the prior post.

(1) Seldane. An antihistamine, prescribed for things like sinus congestion/headaches as in my case. I had no side effects and it worked. But on tendering the prescription to the pharmacist, he noted that the dosage was high, too high he thought. He told me to check with my doctor, a man I always trusted. He was busy and I got his nurse. She was quite huffy; Dr X never makes mistakes. I decided to use the seldane at half the dose and for as short a duration as possible. A week later the FDA banned it; it is still used but carries a black warning label. Apparently it causes heart arrhythmia and death in some cases. I sometimes suffered from this. A near escape? Who knows.
(2) In the 1960’s and for two decades I suffered from serious migraine, with aurae. I was prescribed ergotamine (tartrate(?) ) and Amytal for this. The ergotamine helped but replaced the headache with the dull persistent headache of ergotamine, while the amytal made me like a zombie. I did not enjoy walking around as a zombie in an ergotamine haze. The cure was as bad as the disease, so I used to grimace and bear the migraine. Now we have Imitrex, which I understand actually works. Too late for me…
(3) I have labile hypertension. This is very difficult to treat. For 25 years I have used ACEIs with the sole side effect of occasional cough. I have taken my blood pressure for over 25 years and the ACEIs seemed to have little positive effect. About a decade ago my then doctor added a diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) an antique and inexpensive drug. An immediate positive result and no additional perceptible side effect. When my doctor retired the new man decided to add diltiazem to these. He told me to keep the ACEI/HCTZ combination. A calcium channel blocker, it slows the heart and this is intended also to reduce BP. It is also touted to reduce arrhythmia of the heartbeat, an occasional problem I had on heavy exercise. It slowed the rate and slightly reduced BP but actually increased the tendency for arrhythmia. He was not satisfied with the result – BP still too high - so he added a minimal dose of beta-blocker. As far as I could determine, apart from reduced heart rate, it had little effect on BP.
I had to change doctors yet again. The next one doubled the dose of beta-blocker and still retained the rest. This doctor left the practice after a few months and I had yet another one. To cut it short, the dose of diltiazem was doubled to the max and none of the other drugs removed. The result was quite disastrous. Quality of life deteriorated to rock bottom. All sorts of symptoms appeared – anxiety, constipation, arrhythmia, heart rate dropping to 50, tiredness, skin dryness and eruptions, etc. It resulted in a hypertensive crisis and hospitalization plus extensive testing costing over $10,000 which revealed no obvious organic problems. In other words this antihypertensive, far from ‘curing’ BP, managed to cause a malignant systolic BP of over 200. After a few hours in the ER and a nitroglycerine patch, BP dropped to 88/55 and heart beat to somewhere like 45. I was watching the monitor and had to call the nurse, who acted promptly and removed the patch.

All this treatment was within the guidelines of JN-7. The root cause was electrolye depletion due to HCTZ, especially potassium and magnesium.

(Note: Diltiazem is a highly-thought of antihypertensive and antiarrhythmic. I just happen to be allergic or hyperreactive to this type of CCB. I still take a CCB – of a different class, a dihydropyridine type, felodipine, with no side effects noted.)

I refused to take diltiazem after that – it was replaced by the maximum recommended dose of Beta-blocker (atenolol). Zombie symptoms, utter tiredness , memory loss, depression, shortness of breath, etc., followed. I am currently negotiating with my doctor to evade these side-effects. Reducing the dosage to one-half has made a marked improvement.

Exercise is always recommended for heart health. Try exercising on the maximum dosage of beta-blockers!

This is not a rant against Big Pharma., Jdurg. It is a cautionary note not to believe all those adverts on TV aimed at hypochondriacs promising to ‘cure’ invented syndromes like Restless Leg, etc. On NBC news the other night I counted 9 (in 1/2 hr!) ads for drugs products. In mitigation, CBS news, which I recorded simultaneously, had only one. The FCC made a very unwise politically motivated decision in allowing these ads – the only other country allowing it is New Zealand (IIRC).

Apart from that, I DO indict Big Pharma for

(1) Employing more lobbyists than any other industry, about 2/congressman, IIRC
(2) Having prices of drugs 2-5 times that of every other civilized nation and actively lobbying to keep out imports. Don’t give me claptrap about standards, etc. Canada & the EU generally are just as competent and innovative as the US.
(3) It costs a billion to develop a new drug, fair enough. How many to market it? All those ads, all those salesmen pestering doctors, do they come free?
(4) Infiltrating the review and regulation processes and influencing acceptance of new drugs. Not illegal but perhaps unethical conflict of interest.

Enough. I tender an apology to you if I offended. But please don’t immediately assume I am uninformed and read the National Enquirer.

To any other readers, apologies for inserting this completely OT into a perfectly valid thread. Subjects have a way of drifting off course…

To Not_important: Agree re LSD. The LD50 according to Erowid is in the region of 0.2 to 1 mg/kg in humans. Other animals tolerate more. Several hundred ‘therapeutic’ doses!

Regards,

DerAlte
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[*] posted on 30-6-2007 at 19:17
toxicity


something i would not worry about too much.

providing you dont drink it and just get rid of spills, not a problem.

ps - mercury does not cause cancer but rather heavy metal toxicity. alchemists used to eat this stuff daily.

[Edited on by getafix]
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[*] posted on 13-7-2007 at 00:35


I have read in this thread the common advice to spread sulphur in areas where mercury has been spilled so it will react to form the completely insoluble HgS. Ive read this in books and MSDS sheets too.

Has anyone actually tried the reaction? After I broke a thermometer at home, I spread some sulphur, in which we all walked for a few days, and then tried a controlled reaction in a test tube. Yellow flowers of sulphur were ground into murcury drops. Result: not the slightest hint of HgS colouration after a week. Clear Hg surface everywhere. Most small drops would already have evaporated by this stage. So is this method just an old wives tale?
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[*] posted on 13-7-2007 at 10:26


I never thought it worked well either. Maybe the powder just makes it easier to get the mercury. Zinc powder is preferable.



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[*] posted on 13-7-2007 at 12:31


You should collect the mercury droplets as far as possible. That is the first thing to do when a Hg spill occurs.
Use an amalgamated copper wire for this, or amalgamated zinc sheet etc...
Remove all visible droplets!

What area did the Hg spill occur in? If its a room where people live constantly, you might still have a problem. Dumping sulfur or zinc, or for that matter anything on the Hg is disadvised in all modern literature. Any effort must go towards removing the mercury.
Another method is to put powdered dry ice on the floor, wait for the mercury to freeze, and then sweep it up like ordinary dust.

DO NOT USE A VACUUM CLEANER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!

[Edited on 13-7-2007 by garage chemist]




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[*] posted on 13-7-2007 at 17:14


In that treatment, the reaction of sulfur and mercury occurs mostly at the surface of the sulfur, reacting with mercury vapours. It's more intended to seal mercury that worked its way into cracks and pores in the surface, filling the openings with sulfur. Note that some of the old references suggest a sulfur/lime mixture.

For the original treatment of the spill, the suggestions given earlier for physical removal of mercury are good. The first thing is to recover as much of the mercury as possible. Treatments such as sulfur are intended to handle the small amounts you couldn't recover.
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[*] posted on 15-7-2007 at 01:24


Question Cinnabar is Mercury sulfide hence the mercury ore. In theory heating the two materials together would create Mercury Sulfide?

Has anyone tried this? I going to do it my self but can some one point me to a place where I can buy mercury legally in NZ or on the web? Other wise United Nuclear is my only option and a hard one at best.

Im going to try this experiment and post pictures when I get HgS

[Edited on 15-7-2007 by Hunterxl]
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[*] posted on 15-7-2007 at 18:48


Thanks not important for that info. Before your post I was thinking that a mercury vapour - sulphur reaction is all that is left to save the sulphur treatment of mercury from ignonimity. Do you have a reference for that?

Also the sulphur particles did not show any discolouration after a week, so we are talking really small = invisible amounts here. And I would venture to say that the competing process, mercury vapour evaporation into the room will most likely win - i.e. even from tiny droplets I suggest 90% will evaporate.

Sulphur does coat (though not very well) the mercury surface, but so would flour say!

The reaction with zinc is not that much better than with sulphur, though its much harder to gauge visibly how far its progressed.

My mercury spill was from a thermometer used to measure body temperature, so in the bedroom, where most mercury spills Ive seen occur. We have a wooden floor with cracks, such as has been outlined above as the worst type for a spill. I spent about an hour on my hands and knees coalesceing mercury particles. The remainder I tried to vacuum out of the cracks etc. I know they say you shouldnt vacuum - but that is assuming you have a better measure to deal with it. Once all else fails, I believe it makes sense to vacuum. You do enhance the Hg evaporation rate during the vacuuming period, BUT what is collected in the bag will not contribute to the Hg concentration in the air any more, whereas if you leave it, it will all contribute.

I used the Hg recovered from the spill Hg to test how good the S and Zn treatments of the remainder are, but I did not think if you wanted to purchase mercury you couldnt - its not illegal is it?


[Edited on 16-7-2007 by len1]
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[*] posted on 15-7-2007 at 20:22


I thought those Mercon "Mercury Decontamination Kits" were sold with zinc powder and zinc wool for cleaning up mercury.


Mercury is legal to own in the United States. Just a pain to dispose.




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[*] posted on 18-7-2007 at 02:50


well no duh it's not legal you just can't sell it outside of regnants in certain places.

I need large amounts of mercury like a flasks worth any help on that would be nice.

[Edited on 18-7-2007 by Hunterxl]
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[*] posted on 18-7-2007 at 03:27


Quote:
Originally posted by len1
I know they say you shouldn't vacuum - but that is assuming you have a better measure to deal with it. Once all else fails, I believe it makes sense to vacuum. You do enhance the Hg evaporation rate during the vacuuming period, BUT what is collected in the bag will not contribute to the Hg concentration in the air any more, whereas if you leave it, it will all contribute.

I used the Hg recovered from the spill Hg to test how good the S and Zn treatments of the remainder are, but I did not think if you wanted to purchase mercury you couldn't - its not illegal is it?
[Edited on 16-7-2007 by len1]


The Enhanced air flow during the vacuum, and the mercury collected in the bag will indeed enhance the evaporation.

But it is the best way to remove said mercury considering adequate ventilation is available,
-and consider who the target audience is when "they say you shouldn't vacuum"
-they want you to pay for a federal decontamination :o
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[*] posted on 18-7-2007 at 04:31


If you vacuum, you should store the vacuum cleaner outside because the mercury will evaporate form the bag and the hose much stronger than normal because of the dispersion.



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[*] posted on 30-9-2009 at 00:27


Quote: Originally posted by DerAlte  


"The high vapor pressure of mercury at normal temperatures combined with the potential toxicity makes good control measures necessary to avoid exposure. Also, the concentration of mercury vapor in the air rapidly increases as the temperature increases. To illustrate, listed below are vapor pressures of mercury, and mercury concentrations of air after saturation with mercury vapor at different temperatures:

Vapor Pressure-Saturation Concentration of Mercury at Various Temperatures
________________________________________
Temperature Vapor Pressure Mercury Concentration
°C °F (torr) (µg/m3)
________________________________________
0 32.0 0.000185 2,180
10 50.0 0.000490 5,880
20 68.0 0.001201 13,200
24 75.2 0.001691 18,300
28 82.4 0.002359 25,200
30 86.0 0.002777 29,500
32 89.6 0.003261 34,400
36 96.8 0.004471 46,600
40 104.0 0.006079 62,600
________________________________________

Ref: Extracted from http://www.osha.gov/dts/sltc/methods/inorganic/id140/id140.h...

Also see: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/73-11024.html

Regards,

DerAlte



So if you were going to extract mercury from a thermometer, it would make sense to cool the thermometer in a freezer first. Yes?








[Edited on 30-9-2009 by Runningbear]
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[*] posted on 30-9-2009 at 05:31


No, it would not make sense. It's mercury, not sarin.

It's hard to reduce a negligible risk to anything less. Just "extract" it in a room with a window open, don't spill it, and put it into a tightly capped bottle. I keep a layer of water over my Hg since some say that reduces evaporation of the Hg into the room air.
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[*] posted on 23-10-2009 at 02:42


Regarding DerAltes post I too have seen some remarkably stupid stunts performed with mercury.Living In gold mining country now and then materials assosciated with gold mining surface.Gold having been extracted from the streams and hard rock mines since the indians were forced from the black hills of SD in the 1870s so a good deal of old mines,mining shacks as well as thier accoutrements are still evident as well as large amounts of mercury in many streams and some still in thier original jugs.One of which was found by a pair of brothers from 7-11 YOA as I recall .Fascinated by thier discovery and having no inkling of the dangers what these boys did with the mercury would give you nighmares.In fact if the literature wer spot on these boys would be either dead or drooling in thier diapers today 15 yrs later.

One was hospitalized but the mother was as stupid as the boys not realizing the toxicity of mercury and not mentionin the facts to the drs./specaists at the denver childrens hosptal
The Diagnosis was the boy had an immune disease brought about by a
ferret bite?The fact was these kids had both played with the mercury as if it was simply an interesting substance.The most outrageous thing I heard they had done with the stuff was place it in thier mouths and squirt it out thier noses!this they thought was very funny.I didnt say the boys were bright! from the begnnng thier genes seeminly shared between brother-sister.The incident I mentioned was the most serious but they also handled the metal with bare hands etc.Tak about Mercury exposurethese boys shouldnt have lived through it yet they are still alive and well.Not Roades Scholars but they never would have been.
Youll say well he didnt personally witness this.That is true but my wife
whom im still married to did witness the acts and did try to take the material from them unfortunately they were as well behaved as they were intelligent so it tok my wife awhile to talk the boys mother into relievng the kids of the mercury.The kids intelligence came from somewhere!Yah the kids outa be dead according to the literature.I have no explanation!?
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[*] posted on 23-10-2009 at 06:24


As others have reported, kids brought Hg to school quite often when I was in elementary school. They coated pennies with it, threw it around the classroom and school bus, spilled it everywhere. Spilled it in their pockets. Apparently we were none the worse for it. I think maybe the lack of air conditioning in those days led to open windows from April to October and the ventilation probably helped prevent Hg toxicity.

I later worked in labs where Hg was spilled all the time and no one developed horrible neurologic sequelae.

As I've said before, I just don't think metallic Hg is as toxic as the Hazmat boys would have us believe. BUT I do treat it with respect nowadays!
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Aurus
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[*] posted on 3-11-2009 at 10:21


I have had some experience with the mercury-sulphur method, as I had collected some mercury from a thermometer and placed it in a glass vial. When I had decided to dispose of it, I followed the instructions of the Internet and placed some sulphur powder in my mercury vial, opening it for the smallest possible amount of time. It coated the mercury and after some time it reacted to form black mercury (II) sulphide, one of the most insoluble salts possible. So this method does work.
However, during my collection process, I broke the thermometer and droplets of the liquid metal splattered across my bathroom floor, which led me to fear mercury poisoning for some time, although as I recovered all visible amounts, the amount of mercury left on the floor was in the milligram range.
I agree with entropy that it has received too much negative publicity, but it is as fascinating to me as it was to the early chemists...




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DJF90
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[*] posted on 3-11-2009 at 10:51


Elemental mercury is nothing to worry about in comparison to its compounds, with regards to poisoning. Obviously spills are cause for concern, but if you work over/in a PP or HDPE tray then these are more than likely to be contained. The largest problem with spillage is when you drop some from a fair height; the mercury scatters into thousands if not millions of miniscule droplets, which fly off in all directions across the floor/bench. The compounds of mercury are far more dangerous, as they are much more easily absorbed by the body, causing mercury poisoning in just a short period of time if you're unlucky enough.

Some compounds pose more of a risk than others; generally those that are more soluble or lipophilic in the case of the organics. Please note that not all organomercury compounds are not scary materials of death; some of these were used in medicine back in the day (for example mercurochrome). However we all know of the dangers of dimethyl mercury and the associated compounds, but you'd have to be crazy to work with these, let alone outside of a professional lab without professional training. Just be careful not to accidentally make some :|

[Edited on 3-11-2009 by DJF90]
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entropy51
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[*] posted on 3-11-2009 at 13:20


Quote:
the amount of mercury left on the floor was in the milligram range.
I dare say there's still more than that in the floors of the room that was my boyhood lab.

If the bathroom floor is tile, I wouldn't think the Hg could penetrate too deeply. I might try rubbing the floor with a suspension of Sulfur just to try to coat any microscopic droplets in the cracks. Open the window or run the exhaust fan every now and then.

DJF is 1000% right about working over a tray!
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