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Methylmercury

Similar term(s): alkyl mercury, MeHg, methylmercury compounds.

Definition:

The term 'methylmercury' is commonly used as a generic term to describe (mono)methylmercury compounds. In fact, methylmercury is not a compound in itself but a cation, CH3Hg+, which forms one part of methylmercury compounds; usually methylmercury salts.

Dimethylmercury is one methylmercury compound that is not a salt. The methylmercury cation is normally associated with either a simple anion, like chloride (Cl-), or a large molecule (e.g. a protein) with negative and positive charges. The methylmercury cation is the most toxic form of mercury, able to inhibit fetal brain development, which results in the behavioural changes and reduced cognitive and motor ability.

Source: GreenFacts

More:

Methylmercury is the most common form of organic mercury found in the environment. Environmental methylmercury arises from the methylation of inorganic mercury by microorganisms in soil and sediments, in air or under water. Some methylmercury compounds are used as pesticides.

Related words:

Biocide(s) - Dimethylmercury - Ethylmercury - Inorganic mercury compounds - Methyl group - Organic mercury compounds - Phenylmercury

To read about this term in context:

GreenFacts Summary on Mercury:

Translation(s):

Deutsch: Methylquecksilber
Español: Metilmercurio
Français: Méthylmercure

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