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Is a heavy, silvery element that is a liquid at room temperature. Mercury poisoning can result from exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury (such as mercuric chloride or methylmercury), inhalation of mercury vapor, or eating seafood contaminated with mercury. Even small amounts of mercury exposure can cause developmental, endocrine and reproductive damage. The EPA has no known level as being a safe exposure.

Mercury was and sometimes continues to be used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers, float valves, mercury switches, mercury relays, fluorescent lamps and other devices, though concerns about the element’s toxicity have led to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers being largely phased out. Mercury remains in use in scientific research applications and in amalgam (fillings)  material for dental restoration in some countries, including the US.  It’s  used in  both fluorescent and mercury vapor light bulbs.

EWG Rating: F