Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  
Author: Subject: Lethal dose of mercuric nitrate
chemist1243
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 164
Registered: 7-8-2019
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 11-10-2020 at 14:22
Lethal dose of mercuric nitrate


This is 1.5g of mercuric nitrate next to a U.S penny, enough to kill the average person. Keep in mind, quantities of .5g have been known to kill, and even lower quantities can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system.

The sample I have is slightly impure, which is why it has that yellow color, but none the less - very deadly.



5EEC3395-BD36-4EB0-BFA1-46037F219DFE.jpeg - 1.2MB
View user's profile View All Posts By User
B(a)P
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 621
Registered: 29-9-2019
Member Is Offline

Mood: Confined

[*] posted on 11-10-2020 at 14:37


I think it is a lot less than that, especially under inhalation or dermal contact exposure routes.
Where did you get that value from?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 11-10-2020 at 15:04


The actual amount to kill is hard to estimate, since long gone are the times of Dr. Mengele and Unit 731 which would allow a precise titration of LD50 on humans. Perhaps North Korea could help with this.

Rest the dark humor.

Powders do seem to be quite fluffy, but it seems that the pile in the pic would equal to more than 1500mg. I just handled fine PbO and it occupied about 300mL at max total volume, if not even less because the container was much larger than the contents of it. On the other hand, the nitrate group increases the molecular size of the mercury, so it could result in a bit larger amount hence.

But getting that amount in your body really needs that a larger amount of solution splashes onto you, resulting in transdermal exposure, or then accidentally consuming it in powder or in a solution form. Even breathing in a gram of powder would need quite a thick cloud of powder, or then occupying a space for a long time.

I'm not that scared of immediate toxicity of stuff, but what scares the shite out of me is the half-life of many heavy metals. Their residual time in the body can be up to a decade or longer, so once you get it in, there's no getting it out. There are little drugs that can help you once it's in and the best chelate complexes can only do limited benefit. I always take extra steps when handling those, and if I'm not exactly concentrated or sure, I will double check and for example I always use pans below flasks and beakers in case it breaks for mechanic or thermal stress. I use a lot of ziploc bags to seal or even double seal containers and contaminated trash.

What I wonder is, how rare are poisonings in amateur context of handling chemicals? I would suppose that at least the cookery type chemists are in danger of getting exposed to really nasty stuff because they can be more interested of the result than the reaction itself. I've seen some reckless handling of hazardous material in hobby motivated amateurs, using dirty and messy workspaces, open vessels and limited PPE.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
teodor
National Hazard
****




Posts: 444
Registered: 28-6-2019
Location: Heerenveen
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-10-2020 at 05:29


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  

What I wonder is, how rare are poisonings in amateur context of handling chemicals?


My general rule is to make as many errors as possible with "light" chemicals before touching any "heavy" ones. Getting experience with vapours of different kinds, dust, spillages etc is necessary thing and could not be avoided if you do chemistry seriously. But, if you don't feel how to treat Hg yet (let say have no idea how to process its spillage) don't touch it. Your lab and working procedures should be ready and well-tested. It is much more dangerous than Pb or Cd.

[Edited on 12-10-2020 by teodor]

I've made some illustration of what I mean. Yesterday, after 2 years of practical amateur chemistry and the first time in my life I had a situation when a test tube sneaked out from stand into a water bath and was broken. Now I changed the way I work with tubes - I started to use a protective wire holder.
So, I am happy that I got this experience with FeCl3/Fe(NO3)3, not with Hg(NO3)2.

(I can mention also adding glass balls into boiling solution of K2Cr2O7 and spending several hours washing everything in 3m radius more than a year ago. And of course I red "don't do that" but didn't pay any attention until I did it first time).

[Edited on 12-10-2020 by teodor]

holdertube.jpg - 75kB





[Edited on 12-10-2020 by teodor]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
woelen
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 7465
Registered: 20-8-2005
Location: Netherlands
Member Is Online

Mood: interested

[*] posted on 12-10-2020 at 09:44


If you have KMnO4, then first do several experiments with that and check your workbench and tools after those experiments. You will be amazed to see how many little purple specks you have after your experiments with KMnO4. You can easily detect them by wiping your workbench and tools with a small damp paper tissue.

With KMnO4 this is not a real problem, but with Hg(NO3)2 or HgCl2 it really is!

The nice thing of KMnO4 is that it has a very strong color and that it is only somewhat toxic. So, it is a great chemical to test your capability of working cleanly without introducing serious health risks.




The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-10-2020 at 13:05


I always run pilots with very small quantities and with toxics I carefully plan ahead every step, and think if something could go wrong and how to handle things. Even intentionally running nontoxic stuff to the limit in a controlled manner will help to test equipment and reaction limits like runaways. Spillage? Use a basin underneath vessels for leaks. I did his as a routine for lead salts.

Taking shortcuts has usually led to trouble.

I also have experience on adding activated carbon as boiling chips into acetone solution. Short version: even single grain will make it foam over even when its not boiling.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MidLifeChemist
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 150
Registered: 4-7-2019
Location: West Coast USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: precipitatory

[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 06:53


Quote: Originally posted by teodor  


My general rule is to make as many errors as possible with "light" chemicals before touching any "heavy" ones. Getting experience with vapours of different kinds, dust, spillages etc is necessary thing and could not be avoided if you do chemistry seriously.



That's exactly my philosophy. I'm doing experiments now with the "safer" chemicals, and once I feel like I've learned some lessons and made some mistakes. But I have no plans for things like Hg+2, Cd, Tl, or larger quantities of H2S for now.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MidLifeChemist
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 150
Registered: 4-7-2019
Location: West Coast USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: precipitatory

[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 06:56


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
If you have KMnO4, then first do several experiments with that and check your workbench and tools after those experiments. You will be amazed to see how many little purple specks you have after your experiments with KMnO4. You can easily detect them by wiping your workbench and tools with a small damp paper tissue.



Funny, I had that exact experience recently. I received some KMnO4 from a pottery place in a bag, and I had to transfer it into an HDPE bottle with a funnel. I worked outside on a patio table, and I thought I did it carefully, but when I went to wipe the table off with a damp paper towel I had so many little purple specks.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
teodor
National Hazard
****




Posts: 444
Registered: 28-6-2019
Location: Heerenveen
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 07:22


Quote: Originally posted by MidLifeChemist  
I received some KMnO4 from a pottery place in a bag, and I had to transfer it into an HDPE bottle with a funnel. I worked outside on a patio table, and I thought I did it carefully, but when I went to wipe the table off with a damp paper towel I had so many little purple specks.


Our first enemy in that is electrostatic force. I feel I need more electrostatic-free instruments but actually have no idea do they ever exist.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
chemist1243
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 164
Registered: 7-8-2019
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 09:21




I agree, I was just going to say something about toxic metal build up lol. It messes with my head thinking that every spec of Mercury that passes through my skin, every particle that i breath in, no matter how small, is part of me for essentially half of my life. I hear stories of people who used to work with mercury compounds for their job, and it bites them in the ass years later with neurological disorders among other painful disabling ailments.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
chemist1243
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 164
Registered: 7-8-2019
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 11:39


Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P  
I think it is a lot less than that, especially under inhalation or dermal contact exposure routes.
Where did you get that value from?


https://webwiser.nlm.nih.gov/substance?substanceId=364&i...

You are correct, typically the lethal dose of a mercury is 1g for less for the chloride salt.

HgCl2 mass = 35
Hg(NO3)2 = 325
Hg mass = 201
Cl mass = 35
NO3 = 62
35*2 = 70g of Cl2 per mol of HgCl2

(201/236) * 100 = 85%(by weight) mercury content in any pure sample of HgCl2

NO3 mass = 62g

62*2 = 124g of NO3 per mol of Hg(NO3)2
(201g of Hg per mol)/(325g of Hg(NO3)2 per mol) * 100 = 61% mercury in any sample of Hg(NO3)2

85%/61% = 1.39% more mercury in any given sample of HgCl2.

Factoring in how impure my Hg(NO3)2 is, I’d say 1.5g is a pretty good estimate.

Of course this all assumes that the mercury content of a mercury compound correlates to its toxicity, which probably isn’t true, but I’m an idealist and I would rather believe that 1.5 is an okay estimate unless someone is willing to pull up LD50 records for mercury salts(if you are, please do, i am very curious!)














View user's profile View All Posts By User
zed
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 2202
Registered: 6-9-2008
Location: Great State of Jefferson, City of Portland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-repentant Sith Lord

[*] posted on 17-10-2020 at 08:23


Stuff gets around. With the most careful handling it can be minimized. But, few are capable of the most careful handling.

Seems to me we used to do a Chloride determination experiment utilizing a Silver Nitrate solution. And, in those days, most folks did not wear gloves in the general chemistry laboratories.

For a week or so, anyone who used our school labs, developed "black spots" on their fingers or palms.

The errant Silver Nitrate is invisible until it contacts skin. Once it has touched skin, it reacts with it, create a kind of photo-emulsion within the skin itself. This photo-sensitive skin then develops like a photo. Turning an intense blackish color...

The horrific thing is not the discoloration from the Silver Nitrate, though it does piss you off. The disturbing thing is, thinking about all of the poisonous materials you may have been exposed to, that left no tell-tale stains.

We were telling a tale around here, a few years back. About how one of the world's foremost chemists, died after an unrealized exposure to Dimethyl Mercury.

Yes, this appears to be the story. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Wetterhahn

[Edited on 17-10-2020 by zed]

[Edited on 17-10-2020 by zed]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 17-10-2020 at 08:43


I would hesitate to work with mercury at my home lab. Every single step should be accredited to prevent any form of contamination down the road. One does not simply flush mercury waste reactants down the drain.

Dimethylmercury? I would not touch that. Period. I wonder what has been the largest amount this stuff has ever synthesized batch-wise, and for what purpose? Like "oh yeah, back in the 70's we made this by the kilo for the industry.."
View user's profile View All Posts By User
zed
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 2202
Registered: 6-9-2008
Location: Great State of Jefferson, City of Portland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-repentant Sith Lord

[*] posted on 17-10-2020 at 09:12


Terrible stuff, still showing up in the U.S. food chain, due to gold mining activities of 100 to 150 years ago.

Lots of contaminated silt down in our river bottoms. The quandary is, to dredge it up, and pump it out to the deep ocean floor, or to leave it well enough alone where it is.

There is no good answer. Dredging would be very expensive, and might worsten the immediate problem, by abruptly releasing huge amounts of toxic crud into our rivers and coastal waters.

Gotta admit, some of my progenitors might have influanced the Mercury problem. Miners during the California Gold Rush. The sediments in the San Francisco Bay, The American and Sacramento Rivers, and their tributaries, are not wholesome.

https://abc7news.com/archive/6973770/

Now, is Mercury a problem all over the world, or is this largely an American problem? How about you guys down under? Is it OK to eat lots of the local fish?

In both the Portland, Oregon Area... And, in the San Francisco Bay Area... We are cautioned about eating too much fish.

[Edited on 17-10-2020 by zed]

[Edited on 17-10-2020 by zed]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 17-10-2020 at 09:34


The consensus is to leave the sediments undisturbed. Hence there is dredging bans in very many areas where it is not absolutely necessary. Seagoing vessels tend to agitate the sediments anyways, so the stuff is not such an issue in trafficked routes. My local river was a major industrial route ages ago and they consider it's bottom one of the most polluted soils ever, and the whole river is under ban for any alterations for the sediments, including it's basin area. I actually heard of an initiative to actually extract material from the bottom because there was so much of it that it could have been an economical venture.

Similar of an issue with lead, mercury, asbestos, etc in buildings. They leach to ambient air, causing exposure. Unless necessary to renovate or demolish, they just seal them up with paint/latex/concrete/etc and mark them in the structural details as a caution for future. My local school had probably all of those found in its structures, and they just re-coated the whole thing and shut up.

Even nuclear waste is sealed up with concrete.

[Edited on 17-10-2020 by Fyndium]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
chemist1243
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 164
Registered: 7-8-2019
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 17-10-2020 at 14:59


I would say china is probably the biggest mercury polluter. China usually is the largest producer of any given product, including 87% of the worlds total mercury supply. You simply cannot produce that much mercury without getting a portion of it into the environment. China also produces the most fish, so if you wanna blame someone for mercury levels in fish, I’d say throw China under the bus.

However, Mercury is everywhere. It would be impossible to blame one single country or place for most of the mercury pollution. We all are guilty.

Our hats used to be made using mercury, we release mercury into the air when we burn coal, the gold some of us wear carry’s its guilt, too. Mercury doesnt just go away because we stopped using it to make hats or because we develop a new
mercury-free way to make something. It sticks around and looms, no matter who we blame. We are humans, we cannot help but ruin all that we touch.

Like others have pointed out, all we can do just try to use as little mercury as possible and not go to places where others have foolishly left it.

Dont hesitate to add more mercury related discussion to this thread, I love talking about mercury. I think we can all agree that mercury is probably one of the most unique elements on the periodic table. Cheers! (:
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 18-10-2020 at 00:40


Who absolute madman figured out to use mercury nitrate for fur treatment? That is like, eh, using plutonium to keep your boots warm at winter.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Lion850
National Hazard
****




Posts: 398
Registered: 7-10-2019
Location: Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Great

[*] posted on 18-10-2020 at 00:59


Mercurochrome is probably my favourite disinfectant for cuts and rashes or blisters; excellent to prevent infection. Red liquid. It not available in all countries anymore but is still sold in Australia. According to Wikipedia the formula is C20H8Br2HgNa2O6.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
zed
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 2202
Registered: 6-9-2008
Location: Great State of Jefferson, City of Portland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Semi-repentant Sith Lord

[*] posted on 18-10-2020 at 02:17


Oh, I have some ointment containing a little Phenylmercuric something or other. I used a tiny amount about twenty years ago.

Mostly I use Iodine when I need a local antiseptic. It's tried and true. And, in recent times it has become more available. It was really hard to come by 10 or 15 years ago. There was a listing problem.

Anyway, many of us are a little deficient in Iodine. A little exposure isn't harmful.

None-of-us suffer from a Mercury deficiency.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 23-3-2021 at 10:15


I came up with this text:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning#Sources


Quote:

Mercury occurs as salts such as mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and mercurous chloride (Hg2Cl2), the latter also known as calomel. Because they are more soluble in water, mercuric salts are usually more acutely toxic than mercurous salts. Their higher solubility lets them be more readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Mercury salts affect primarily the gastrointestinal tract and the kidneys, and can cause severe kidney damage; however, as they cannot cross the blood–brain barrier easily, these salts inflict little neurological damage without continuous or heavy exposure.


So it states that accidental, single exposure to small amounts of water soluble mercury salts would not have extreme long term effects, if the toxicity does not exceed acute amounts. Is it true that non-organomercury compounds do not affect neurological system in similar manner?

I'm not trying to downplay the danger, but just discussing and getting a context.

I read some posts just in case this hadn't been discussed. I haven't ever even bought any mercury compounds to my lab since I don't own any, but I made a full wipeout to my lab two weeks ago: I just scrubbed every single surface with cleaning agents and wiped them dry. Apart from making my lab shining clean - just they way I prefer it - it's good to decontaminate it for everything that has settled and accumulated to surfaces over the years. I'm still gonna paint some walls as I get some other renovations done, and that will finish the job, as it's more easy to just cover all the non-loose dirt with new paint than try to clean it.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
B(a)P
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 621
Registered: 29-9-2019
Member Is Offline

Mood: Confined

[*] posted on 23-3-2021 at 13:50


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  


Is it true that non-organomercury compounds do not affect neurological system in similar manner?



No, erethism mercurialis (Mad Hatter disease) was originally identified as being caused by exposure to mercury nitrate used in the hat making industry.
The offspring of female rats exposed to inorganic mercury have been shown to have significant developmental impairment. Developmental impairment in the offspring was observed at much lower concentrations than those causing kidney and liver damage. Neurological damage has been shown at similar concentrations (in animals including primates) to those causing liver and kidney damage.
I have said it on the forum a number of times, if like me you are interested in toxicological data (for me it is part of my work), the CDCs ATSDR has a huge repository of toxicological profiles for a wide range of chemicals. The mercury profile is a particularly good read because of the wealth of data available on mercury and its compounds.
https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/ToxProfiles/ToxProfiles.aspx?id=115&tid=24



View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 24-3-2021 at 02:00


I have no idea what they used mercury nitrate for in hat felting? Can someone explain, because this has bothered me for long? It sounds absolutely absurd that someone would actually roll hats in mercury for any reason. Anyway, I must note that if someone spends 8 to 16 hours a day in front of possibly boiling hot pot of mercury nitrate, the exposure will certainly be more than handling mercury in chemistry with proper care. Actually, I would have guessed that sitting in front of a kettle with boiling mercury nitrate for 15 minutes could kill one.

But thanks for the link. I like to explore all the hazardous details of substances especially if I ever intend to handle them. Every single labeled chemical has the general warnings that say it will kill instantly if misused, like sodium carbonate, that has been classified as extremely hazardous substance by some US schools, so they give little to no info of their actual properties. And according to some, like EU, everything has carcinogenic properties, and if not, it just hasn't been discovered yet.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Metacelsus
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 2469
Registered: 26-12-2012
Location: Boston, MA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Double, double, toil and trouble

[*] posted on 24-3-2021 at 02:42


I believe it was used as a preservative for the fur.



As below, so above.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
B(a)P
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 621
Registered: 29-9-2019
Member Is Offline

Mood: Confined

[*] posted on 24-3-2021 at 03:05


Correct it helps with felting of the fur. It makes the fur more likely to form knots and bind, presumably because it starts to break it down in some way. I would like to understand the chemistry of the process, but have never stubbled upon it.
Apologies Fyndium, I am not saying you will get neurological damage by experimenting with inorganic mercury in the home lab, only that neurological damage occurs when exposed to equal or lesser concentrations then those that cause other impacts such as liver/kidney damage. I am certainly not saying that exposure to equivalent volumes of inorganic and organic mercury is the same, that is absolutely not the case. A drop of mercury nitrate on the skin is cause for concern, but if quickly washed off is unlikely to cause lasting health issues. A drop of methyl mercury on the skin is certain death.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Fyndium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1013
Registered: 12-7-2020
Location: Not in USA
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 24-3-2021 at 03:20


No arguing here, just discussing. If exposing bare skin to mercury, something has already gone wrong.

I'd say that organic mercury compounds can not be safely handled in amateur context in any way. Or, hypothetically, but one should have serious containment and decontamination systems, which does not count that well anymore with the word amateur.

I would be very vary with any form of mercury anyway, as powder form will pulverize easily, and metal form will form microscopic droplets. Any experiments with it should have full focus and very small amounts whatsoever. Many have had so messy worktables they would possibly forget in which beaker the mercury was, along all the other dirty ones. The concept of handling toxic stuff in non-ground glass equipment bothers me anyway.

I read that they used mercury just for that purpose you said.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
 Pages:  1  

  Go To Top