Mercury, also called liquid silver, has the atomic number 80, an atomic weight of 200.59, boiling point of 356.6°C, melting point of −38.9°C, specific gravity of 13.55, vapor pressure of 1.22 × 10−3 mm at 20°C (2.8 × 10−3 mm at 30°C), and solubility in water of 6 × 10−6 g per 100 ml (25°C). It is a heavy, glistening, silvery-white metal, a rather poor conductor of heat but a fair conductor of electricity. It has seven stable isotopes with the following percent abundances: 195Hg (0.15); 198Hg (10.1); 199Hg (17.0); 200Hg (23.3); 201Hg (13.2); 202Hg (29.6); and 204Hg (6.7). There are many minerals of Hg; the commonest are the sulfides cinnabar and metacinnabar. Mercury is recovered almost entirely from cinnabar (α-HgS, 86.2% Hg); less important sources are livingstonite (HgS•2Sb2S3), metacinnabar (β-HgS), and about 25 other Hg-containing minerals. Its unusual high volatility, which increases with increasing temperature, accounts for its presence in the atmosphere in appreciable amounts.


Proc Inti Conf National Research Council Canada Phenylmercuric Acetate Phenylmercury Acetate Methylmercury Dicyandiamide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adriano, D. C., A. L. Page, A. A. Elseewi, A. C. Chang, and I. Straughan. 1980. J Environ Qual 9: 333–344.Google Scholar
  2. Alberts, J. J., J. E. Schindler, R. W. Miller, and D. E. Nutter, Jr. 1974. Science 184: 895–897.Google Scholar
  3. Andersson, A. 1967. Oikos Suppl 9:13–15.Google Scholar
  4. Andersson, A. 1979. In J. O. Nriagu, ed. The biogeochemistry of mercury in the environment,79–112. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  5. Andersson, A. 1970. Grundförbättring 23:31–40Google Scholar
  6. Andersson, A., and L. Wiklander. 1965. Grundförbättring 18: 171–177.Google Scholar
  7. Andren, A. W., and J. O. Nriagu. 1979. In J. O. Nriagu, ed. The biogeochemistry of mercury in the environment, 1–21. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  8. Aomine, S., and K. Inoue. 1967. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 13: 195–200.Google Scholar
  9. Aomine, S., H. Kawasaki, and K. Inoue. 1967. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 13: 186–188.Google Scholar
  10. Archer, F. C. 1980. Minist Agric Fish Food (Great Britain) 326: 184–190.Google Scholar
  11. Bache, C. A., W. H. Gutenmann, L. E. St. John, Jr., R. D. Sweet, H. H. Hatfield,and D. J. Lisk. 1973. J Agric Food Chem 21: 607–613.Google Scholar
  12. Beauford, W., J. Barber, and A. R. Barringer. 1977. Physiol Plant 39: 261–265.Google Scholar
  13. Beckert, W. F., A. A. Moghissi, F. H. F. Au, E. W. Bretthauer, and J. C. McFarlane. 1974. Nature 249: 674–675.Google Scholar
  14. Beijer, K., and A. Jernelöv. 1979. In J. O. Nriagu, ed. The biogeochemistry of mercury in the environment, 203–210. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  15. Berrow, M. L., and J. C. Burridge. 1979. In Proc Intl Conf Heavy Metals in the Environment, 304–311. CEP Consultants Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.Google Scholar
  16. Berrow, M. L., and G. A. Reaves. 1984. In Proc Intl Conf Environ Contamination, 333–340. CEP Consultants Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.Google Scholar
  17. Bertilsson, L., and H. Y. Neujahr. 1971. Biochemistry 10:2805–2808Google Scholar
  18. Bisogni, J. J., Jr. 1979. In J. O. Nriagu, ed. The biogeochemistry of mercury in the environment, 211–230. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  19. Bolli, M. 1947. Ann Fac Agrar Univ Stud Perugia 4:180–186, cited by Beauford et al (1977).Google Scholar
  20. Booer, J. R. 1944. Ann App Biol 31:340–359.Google Scholar
  21. Booer, J. R. 1951. Ann Appl Biol 38: 334–347.Google Scholar
  22. Braman, R. S., and D. L. Johnson. 1974. In E. D. Copenhauer, ed. Proc NSF-RANN Trace Contaminants in the Environment, 75–78. ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN.Google Scholar
  23. Byford, W. J. 1975. Ann Appl Biol 79: 221–230.Google Scholar
  24. Byrne, A. R., and L. Kosta. 1969. Inst Josef Stefan (Yugoslavia) Rep R-562.Google Scholar
  25. Carty, A. J., and S. F. Malone. 1979. In J. O. Nriagu, ed. The biogeochemistry of mercury in the environment, 433–479. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  26. Chino, M. 1981. In K. Kitagishi and I. Yamane, eds. Heavy metal pollution in soils of Japan, 65–80. Japan Sci Soc Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  27. Clemente, G. F., L. C. Rossi, and G. P. Santaroni. 1977. J Radioanal Chem 37: 549–558.Google Scholar
  28. Corner, E. D. S., and F. H. Rigler. 1957. J Mar Biol Assoc (UK) 36: 449–458.Google Scholar
  29. Cross, J. D., I. M. Dale, H. Smith, and L. B. Smith. 1979. J Radioanal Chem 48: 159–167.Google Scholar
  30. Davis, R. D., P. H. T. Beckett, and E. Wollan. 1978. Plant Soil 49: 395–408.Google Scholar
  31. DeSimone, R. E. 1972. J Chem Commun (Chem Soc London) 13: 780–781.Google Scholar
  32. D’Itri, F. M. 1972. The environmental mercury problem. CRC Press, Cleveland,OH.Google Scholar
  33. Dolar, S. G., D. R. Keeney, and G. Chesters. 1971. Environ Letters 1: 191–198.Google Scholar
  34. Drake, H. J. 1980. In Minerals yearbook, 1978–79, 593–600. US Bureau of Mines, US Dept of Interior, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  35. Dudas, M. J., and S. Pawluk. 1976. Can J Soil Sci 56: 413–423.Google Scholar
  36. Engler, R. M., and W. H. Patrick, Jr. 1975. Soil Sci 119: 217–221.Google Scholar
  37. Estes, G. O., W. E. Knoop, and F. D. Houghton. 1973. J Environ Qual 2: 45 1452.Google Scholar
  38. Evans, R. L., W. T. Sullivan, and S. Lin. 1973. Water Sewage Works 120: 74–76.Google Scholar
  39. Fagerström, T., and A. Jernelöv. 1970. Water Res 5: 121–122.Google Scholar
  40. Fang, S. C. 1978. Environ Sci Technol 12:285–288.Google Scholar
  41. Fang, S. C. 1981. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 10: 193–201.Google Scholar
  42. FAO WHO. See World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  43. Farrah, H., and W. F. Pickering. 1978. Water, Air, Soil Pollut 9: 23–31.Google Scholar
  44. Fimreite, N. 1970. Environ Pollut 1: 119–131.Google Scholar
  45. Fleischer, M. 1970. In Mercury in the environment.USGS Prof Paper 713, 6–13. USDI, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  46. Frank, R., K. Ishida, and P. Suda. 1976. Can J Soil S l ci 56: 181–196.Google Scholar
  47. Frear, D. E. H., and L. E. Dills. 1967. J Econ Entom 60: 970–974.Google Scholar
  48. Gambrell, R. P., R. A. Khalid, and W. H. Patrick, Jr. 1980. Environ Sci Technol 14: 431–436.Google Scholar
  49. Gavis, J., and J. F. Ferguson. 1972. Water Res 6: 989–1008.Google Scholar
  50. Gilmour, J. T. 1971. Environ Letters 2: 143–152.Google Scholar
  51. Gilmour, J. T., and M. S. Miller. 1973. J Environ Qual 2: 145–148.Google Scholar
  52. Goldberg, E. D. 1970. In Chemical invasion of the ocean by man. Yearbook of Sci and Technol McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  53. Goldschmidt, V. M. 1954. Geochemistry. Oxford Press, London. 730 pp. Gomez, M. I., and P. Markakis. 1974. J Food Sci 39: 673–675.Google Scholar
  54. Gotoh, S., H. Otsuka, and H. Koga. 1979. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 25: 523–537.Google Scholar
  55. Gotoh, S., S. Tokudome, and H. Koga. 1978. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 24: 391–406.Google Scholar
  56. Gowen, J. A., G. B. Wiersma, and H. Tai. 1976. Pesticides Monit J 10: 111–113.Google Scholar
  57. Gracey, H. I., and J. W. B. Stewart. 1974a. In Proc Intl Conf on Land Waste Mgmt, 97–103. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  58. Gracey, H. I., and J. W. B. Stewart. 1974b. Can J Soil Sci 54: 105–108.Google Scholar
  59. Gray, N. E., and H. J. Fuller. 1942. Am J Bot 29: 456–459.Google Scholar
  60. Hahne, H. C. H., and W. Kroontje. 1973a. J Environ Qual 2:444–450.Google Scholar
  61. Hahne, H. C. H., and W. Kroontje. 1973b. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 37: 838–843.Google Scholar
  62. Hamilton, E. I., and M. J. Minski. 1972. Sci Tot Environ 1: 375–394.Google Scholar
  63. Harriss, R. C., D. B. White, and R. B. MacFarlane. 1970. Science 170: 736–737.Google Scholar
  64. Hem, J. D. 1970. In Mercury in the environment. USGS Prof Paper 713, 19–24.USDI, Washington, DC.326 9. MercuryGoogle Scholar
  65. Hildebrand, S. G., R. H. Strand, and J. W. Huckabee. 1980. J Environ Qual 9: 393–400.Google Scholar
  66. Hogg, T. J., J. W. B. Stewart, and J R. Bettany. 1978a. J Environ Qual 7:440–444.Google Scholar
  67. Hogg, T. J., J. W. B. Stewart, and J R. Bettany. 1978b J Environ Qual 7:445–450Google Scholar
  68. Huckabee, J. W., and B. G. Blaylock. 1973. Adv Exp Med Biol 40: 125–160.Google Scholar
  69. Imura, N., E. Sukegawa, S. Pan, K. Nagae, J. Kim, T. Kwan, and T. Ukita. 1971. Science 172: 1248–1249.Google Scholar
  70. Inoue, K., and S. Aomine. 1969. Soil Sci Plant Nutri 15: 86–91.Google Scholar
  71. Irukayama, K. 1967. In Proc 3rd Intl Conf Advances in Water Pollution Research,vol. 3:153. Water Pollut Contr Fed, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  72. Jensen, S., and A. Jernelöv. 1967. As cited by Beijer and Jernelöv (1979).Google Scholar
  73. Jernelöv, A. 1969. In M. W. Miller and G. C. Berg, eds. Chemical fallout, chap. 4, 68–74. Thomas Publ, Springfield, IL.Google Scholar
  74. Jernelöv, A., and T. Wallin. 1973. Atmos Environ 7: 209–214.Google Scholar
  75. Joensuu, O. I. 1971. Science 172: 1027–1028.Google Scholar
  76. Johnson, D. L., and R. S. Braman. 1974. Environ Sci Technol 8: 1003–1008.Google Scholar
  77. Jonasson, I. R., and R. W. Boyle. 1971. In Mercury in man’s environment Proc R Soc Can Sympos, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  78. Jones, R. L., and T. D. Hinesly. 1972. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 36: 921–923.Google Scholar
  79. Kaiser, G., and G. Tölg. 1980. In O. Hutzinger ed. Handbook of environmental chemistry, Vol. 3, part A. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  80. Kimura, Y., and V. L. Miller. 1964. J Agric Food Chem 12: 253–257.Google Scholar
  81. Kinniburgh, D. G., and M. L. Jackson. 1978. Soil Sci Soc Am J 42: 45–47.Google Scholar
  82. Kirkpatrick, D. C., and D. E. Coffin. 1974. J Inst Can Sci Technol Aliment 7: 56–58.Google Scholar
  83. Kuramitsu, H. K. 1968. J Biol Chem 243: 1061–1071.Google Scholar
  84. Lagerwerff, J. V. 1972. In J. J. Mortvedt, P. M. Giordano, and W. L. Lindsay, eds. Micronutrients in agriculture, 593–636. Soil Sci Soc Am Inc, Madison, WI. Landa, E. R. 1978. J Environ Qual 7:84–86.Google Scholar
  85. Leong, L., B. Olson and R. Cooper. 1973. J. Environ. Health 35: 436–442.Google Scholar
  86. Lexmond, T. M., F. A. M. de Haan, and M. J. Frissel. 1976. Netherlands JAgric Sci 24: 79–97.Google Scholar
  87. Lindberg, S. E., and R. C. Harriss, 1974. Environ Sci Technol 8: 459–462.Google Scholar
  88. Lindberg, S. E., D. R. Jackson, J. W. Huckabee, S. A. Janzen, M. J. Levin, and J. R. Lund. 1979. J Environ Qual 8: 572–578.Google Scholar
  89. Lockwood, R. A., and K. Y. Chen. 1973. Environ Sci Technol 7:1028–1034.Google Scholar
  90. Lockwood, R. A., and K. Y. Chen. 1974. Environ Letters 6: 151–166.Google Scholar
  91. Löfroth, G. 1970. In Methylmercury: a review of health hazards and side effects associated with the emission of mercury compounds into natural systems. Ecol Res Comm Bull no. 4. Swed Natl Sci Res Council, Stockholm, Sweden. 56 pp.Google Scholar
  92. Lu, F. 1973. WHO Chron 27: 245–253.Google Scholar
  93. MacLean, A. J., B. Stone, and W. E. Cordukes. 1973. Can J Soil Sci 53:130132.Google Scholar
  94. MacLean, A. J. 1974. Can J Soil Sci 54: 287–292.Google Scholar
  95. Magos, L., A. A. Tuffery, and T. W. Clarkson. 1964. Brit J Ind Med 21: 294–298.Google Scholar
  96. Marton, J., and T. Marton. 1972. Tappi 55: 1614–1618.Google Scholar
  97. McKeague, J. A., and B. Kloosterman. 1974. Can J Soil Sci 54: 503–507.Google Scholar
  98. McKeague, J. A., and M. S. Wolynetz. 1980. Geoderma 24: 299–307.Google Scholar
  99. Meranger, J. C., and D. C. Smith. 1972. Can J Public Health 63: 53–57.Google Scholar
  100. Mhatre, G. N., and S. B. Chaphekar. 1984. Water, Air, Soil Pollut 21: 1–8.Google Scholar
  101. Mills, J. G., and M. A. Zwarich. 1975. Can J Soil Sci 55: 295–300.Google Scholar
  102. Morishita, T., K. Kishino, and S. Idaka. 1982. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 28: 523–534.Google Scholar
  103. National Academy Sciences (NAS). 1977. Drinking water and health, 250–488. NAS, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  104. National Academy Sciences (NAS). 1978. An assessment of mercury in the environment. NAS, Washington,DC. 185 pp.Google Scholar
  105. National Research Council Canada (NRCC). 1979. Effects of mercury in the Canadian environment NRCC no. 16739. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 290 pp.Google Scholar
  106. Newton, D. W., and R. Ellis, Jr. 1974. J Environ Qual 3: 20–23.Google Scholar
  107. Newton, D. W., R. Ellis, Jr., and G. M. Paulsen. 1976. J Environ Qual 5: 25 1254.Google Scholar
  108. Niebla, E. E., N. E. Korte, B. A. Alesii, and W. H. Fuller. 1976. Water, Air, Soil Pollut 5: 399–401.Google Scholar
  109. Novick, S. 1969. Environment 11: 2–9.Google Scholar
  110. Olson, B. H., and R. C. Cooper. 1976. Water Res 10: 113–116.Google Scholar
  111. Passow, H., A. Rothstein, and T. W. Clarkson. 1961. Pharmacol Rev 13:185224.Google Scholar
  112. Pickard, J. A., and J. T. Martin. 1959. In Ann Rep Long Ashton Res Sta, Bristol, UK. Pages 93–100, as cited by Smart (1964).Google Scholar
  113. Poelstra, P., M. J. Frissel, N. van der Klugt, and W. Tap. 1974. In Comparative studies of food and environmental contamination,281–292. Proc Series IAEASM-175 46, Vienna.Google Scholar
  114. Puerner, N. J., and S. M. Siegel. 1972. Physiol Plant 26: 310–312.Google Scholar
  115. Rao, A. V., E. Fallin, and S. C. Fang. 1966. Plant Physiol 41: 443–446.Google Scholar
  116. Reimers, R. S., and P. A. Krenkel. 1974. J Water Pollut Control Fed 46: 35 2365.Google Scholar
  117. Robertson, D. E., E. A. Crecelius, J. S. Fruchter, and J. D. Ludwick. 1977. Science 196: 1094–1097.Google Scholar
  118. Rogers, R. D. 1976. J Environ Qual 5:454–458.1977.Google Scholar
  119. Rogers, R. D. 1977. J Environ Qual 6:463–467.Google Scholar
  120. Rogers, R. D. 1977. 1979. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43: 289–291.Google Scholar
  121. Rogers, R. D., and J. C. McFarlane. 1979. J Environ Qual 8: 255–260.Google Scholar
  122. Ross, R. G., and D. K. R. Stewart. 1960. Can J Plant Sci 40:117–122.Google Scholar
  123. Ross, R. G., and D. K. R. Stewart. 1962. Can J Plant Sci 42: 280–285.Google Scholar
  124. Russell, L. H., Jr. 1979. In F. W. Oehme, ed. Toxicity of heavy metals in the environment, chap 2:3–23. Marcel Dekker Inc, New York.Google Scholar
  125. Saha, J. G., Y. W. Lee, R. D. Tinline, S. H. F. Chinn, and H. M. Austenson. 1970. Can J Plant Sci 50: 597–599.Google Scholar
  126. Sand, P. F., G. B. Wiersma, H. Tai, and L. J. Stevens. 1971. Pesticides Monit J 5: 32–33.Google Scholar
  127. Selikoff, I. J. 1971. Environ Res 4: 1–69.Google Scholar
  128. Shacklette, H. T. 1970. In Mercury in the environment. USGS Prof Paper 713, 35–39. USDI, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  129. Shacklette, H. T., J. G. Boerngen, and R. L. Turner. 1971. Geol Survey Circ 644. USDI, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  130. Siegel, B. Z., M. Lasconia, E. Yaeger, and S. M. Siegel. 1984. Water, Air, Soil Polut 23:15–24.328 9. MercuryGoogle Scholar
  131. Siegel, S. M., B. Z. Siegel, A. M. Eshleman, and K. Bachmann. 1973. Environ Biol Med 2: 81–89.Google Scholar
  132. Simpson, R. E., W. Horwitz, and C. A. Roy. 1974. Pesticides Monit J 7:127–138.Google Scholar
  133. Smart, N. A. 1964. J Sci Food Agric 15:102–108.Google Scholar
  134. Smart, N. A. 1968. Residue Rev 23: 1–36.Google Scholar
  135. Somers, E. 1974. J Food Sci 39: 215–217.Google Scholar
  136. Stewart, D. K. R., and R. G. Ross. 1960. Can J Plant Sci 40: 659–665.Google Scholar
  137. Summers, A. O., and S. Silver. 1978. Ann Rev Microbiol 32: 637–672.Google Scholar
  138. Tanner, J. T., and M. H. Friedman. 1977. J Radioanal Chem 37: 529–538.Google Scholar
  139. Temple, P. J., and S. N. Linzon. 1977. Trace Subs Environ Health 11: 389–397.Google Scholar
  140. Toribara, T. Y., C. P. Shields, and L. Koval. 1970. Talanta 17: 1025–1028.Google Scholar
  141. Ui, J. 1967. In Proc 3rd Intl Conf Advances in Water Pollution Research, Vol. 3. Water Pollut Cont Fed, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  142. US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA). 1976. In Quality criteria for water Google Scholar
  143. US-EPA, Washington, DC.Van Faasen, H. G. 1975 Plant Soil 44:505–509 Google Scholar
  144. Van Loon, J. C. 1974. Environ Letters 6: 211–218.Google Scholar
  145. Vinogradov, A. P. 1959. The geochemistry of rare and dispersed chemical elements in soils. Consultants Bureau Inc, New York. 209 pp.Google Scholar
  146. Warren, H. V., R. E. Delavault, and J. Barakso. 1966. Econ Geol 61: 1010–1028.Google Scholar
  147. Warren, H. V., and R. E. Delavault. 1969. Oikos 20: 537–539.Google Scholar
  148. Weaver, R. W., J. R. Melton, D. Wang, and R. L. Duble. 1984. Environ Pollut (A) 33: 133–142.Google Scholar
  149. Whitby, L. M., J. Gaynor, and A. J. MacLean. 1978. Can J Soil Sci 58: 325–330.Google Scholar
  150. Wiersma, G. B., and H. Tai. 1974. Pesticides Monit J 7: 214–216.Google Scholar
  151. Wiklander, L. 1969. Geoderma 3: 75–79.Google Scholar
  152. Williams, C. H. 1977. J Aust Inst Agric Sci (Sept Dec.): 99–109.Google Scholar
  153. Wood, J. M. 1974. Science 183: 1049–1052.Google Scholar
  154. Wood, J. M., F. S. Kennedy, and C. G. Rosen. 1968. Nature 220: 173–174.Google Scholar
  155. World Health Organization (WHO). 1984. Guidelines for drinking-water quality, Vol. 1. WHO, Geneva, Switzerland. 130 pp.Google Scholar
  156. World Health Organization (WHO), and FAO. Joint FAO WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (FAO WHO) 1972. WHO Tech Rep Ser no. 505, Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  157. Zwarich, M. A., and J. G. Mills. 1979. Can J Soil Sci 59: 231–239.Google Scholar
  158. Zyrin, N. G., B. A. Zvonarev, L. K. Sadovnikova, and N. I. Voronova. 1981. Soy Soil Sci 13: 44–52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Adriano
    • 1
  1. 1.Biogeochemical Ecology Division, Savannah River Ecology LaboratoryUniversity of Georgia Institute of EcologyAikenUSA

Personalised recommendations