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Mercurys symbol is Hg its atomic number is 80 its atomic mass is 20059 its in group 12 and in period 6 and it also has two valence electrons Its standard state is liquid at 298K and it is the heaviest known elemental liquid It has a silvery white color It is named after the planet Mercury the origin of the symbol Hg is the Latin word hydrargyrum meaning liquid silver Mercury was known to ancient Chinese and Hindus before 2000 BC and was found in tubes in Egyptian tombs dated from 1500 BC Mercury is the only metal liquid at ordinary temperatures Mercury is sometimes called quicksilver It sometimes occurs free in nature and is found mainly in cinnabar ore which is HgS Cinnabar ore is found in Spain and Italy Mercury is a heavy silvery-white metal which forms alloys easily with many metals like gold silver and tin These alloys are called amalgams Its way of amalgamating with gold is made use of the recovery of gold from its ores Mercury is a bad conductor of heat and an okay conductor of electricity The most important salts are mercuric chloride HgC12 that is a corrosive and violent poison Mercurous chloride Hg2Cl2 which used to be used in medicine Mercury fulminate HgONC2 used as a detonator in explosives and mercuric sulfide HgS used as a high-grade paint pigment Organic mercury compounds are important and dangerous Methyl mercury is a lethal pollutant found in rivers and lakes Mercury is a virulent poison and is readily absorbed through the respiratory tract the gastrointestinal tract or through unbroken skin It acts as a cumulative poison since there are few pathways available to the body for its excretion Since mercury is a very readily vaporizable element at a relatively low temperature dangerous levels are readily attained in air Air saturated with mercury vapor at 20C contains a concentration that exceeds the toxic limit many times
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