don't forget pink's disease! it's fun for kidz! and it leaches like crazy from landfills where (technically) it's not allowed to be dumped.
er, mercury, that is.
But what about long-term, low level exposure? Does it make daffy old ladies declare that they've been lifelong Democrats, but haven't always voted Democratic, and that they'd never, ever vote for Obama?
"Mercury poisoning, it's fatal and it don't get better"....damned if I can remember the song, lil help?
Airplane is the BEST MOVIE EVER!
Found it:) Graham Parker and the Rumor!
How about some coffee johnny?
*Rumour...English band:) Kinda like Colour on the spelling, excuse my American ways.
@ 7: no thanks!
@5, Yeah, I gotta say that Airplane is in my top five movies of all time.
I was just thinking the same thing, Gabe -- "I've got Mercury poisoning". It's actually about his record label (Mercury). I saw them play the Paramount in about 1980. Loudest show I ever saw -- louder than The Clash, MBV, Ramones....
@11: I was born in Seattle before the 70's, but grew up in NJ. Mercury Poisioning was a real concern there when the song came out (don't eat the local fish), though we knew it was about the label...kinda like "Workin' for MCA" by Skynyrd. It was all over the airwaves.
Saw the Ramones in NJ, and the Clash, loudest shows I've ever seen have been at the Charleston in Bremerton in the last month...lol.
Well, I did see AC/DC in 1985 in the Meadowlands hockey arena, they fired the cannons inside with blanks and I was functionally deaf for a couple days...pieces of the ceiling fell on me, that might have been the loudest.
Just for fun:)
Since this is about http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/07/mercury_rising
Let me do some calculations;
30 to 39lb/yr, lets call it 16kg or about 44,000mg/day (I believe cement kilns run 24/7 as it takes a while to heat them up)
I found one source (www.metrokc.gov/stadium/) that says about the former Kingdome:"Volume - 67 million cubic feet within outside columns" about 1,897,000m³ but lets call that it a million since I'm not interested in the outside columns.
So, if Lafarge ran their exhaust directly in to the Kingdome, with one airchange per day, you'd have about 0.05mg/m³ which, if it is organic mercury compounds, seems to be the OSHA limit (but if it is elemental that would be below the OSHA limit) my exposure limits are from the Wikipedia article on Mercury_poisoning,the www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/mercuryvapor/recognition.html page was kind of long so I didn't read it in detail.
Still, I agree, concrete is bad, Mmkay;
I think Sound transit should be using timber trestles and those nice traditional creosote treated wood ties. Another plus, if you use a lot of wood in long lasting structures AND plant new trees, you sequester some carbon! You know a lot of those hated townhouses are wood framed, but they need to start building high rise high density housing with timber frames.
Listen you greek poseur, Mercury poisoning was a real thing in the late 70's and early 80's on the East coast, and now it's real here. It collects over time and generations...and fish generations are a bit shorter than human versions.
People were DYING from that shit in NJ in the early 80's, it's not a joke. Now that it's here I'd like to run away. You think Canada will take me?
the non science education is showing here
mercury poisoning is no joke
serious stuff and very dangerous, recent science says MORE dangerous than ever imagined
joke about your dick size, NOT mercury
So Mr. Science, do you know why mercury is so toxic? Gen chem isn't really my strongest subject, but looking at the periodic table, it's not clear to me why it should be super reactive or anything. We don't see people dying from cadmium exposure, AFAIK. Is it just the low boiling point? Like, if we were breathing cadmium, it would be just as bad?
And what's up with the low boiling point? It's heavy . . .
Inquiring minds. I guess I could wikipedia it, but it's so much easier to just ask a geek.
I used to work at Tek Cominco back when it was Cominco.
One of the transformers, made around WW I, had liquid pools of mercury - a couple of the operators would just jump in, without donning the whole hazmat suit, into the pools, to fix it.
They also used to stick cigerettes or cigars through holes they punched in their biochem filter masks.
But it is pretty ...
(I can't help it if you guys have had boring lives, it's not my problem)
It's toxic because it stays in your body, and doesn't process out. It does technically process out, but over such a long period of time that it's easier to conceptualize of it as building up over time.
This is why higher orders tend to get side effects from mercury toxicity as they consume fish and other creatures with smaller amounts of mercury but the mercury basically doesn't leave their bodies.
It impacts neurons for the most part.
concentrations above 1 mg per cubic meter
Dude. Nobody, but nobody expresses contaminant concentrations by volume, unless the original sample matrix was a liquid. You are talking about tissue, so the concentrations are properly expressed by weight. For metals, concentrations are expressed in parts per million dry weight, or micrograms per gram. Please make a not of it.
-Concerned analytical chemist
We don't see people dying from cadmium exposure, AFAIK
Actually, we do. That's why there are regulations for folks working in metal plating industries and why cadmium discharges are highly regulated.
Mercury combines with organic compounds to form what are called organo-metallic compounds. These compounds are lipophilic (they like to dissolve in fat) and guess what? Nerves are mostly lipid. So these compounds (mainly methyl-mercury, to a lesser extent ethyl mercury) are more toxic than elemental mercury.
It turns out that marine mammals such as dolphins have evolved a way to deal with mercury in their tissues, as they eat fish that are high trophic level (high in mercury, like most tuna and swordfish). Their diets are also high in selenium, and in their livers, selenium and mercury form a complex that binds the mercury and keeps it from moving to the vulnerable nerve cells. We don't know if humans have this same metabolic capability, and selenium itself can be toxic.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but virtually all metals are toxic. The variable concentration in your system is what matters as is the manner of exposure. Many metals are essential to a healthy constitution; it's the gross overexposure that, obviously, is the problem.
Having been exposed as it were to Macrobiotics growing up, the idea was that deficiencies in vital minerals can prompt a body to absorb more toxic metals. A person who exercises, keeps a varied, healthy diet, gets adequate sleep and isn't huffing smoke stacks is best prepared to eliminate nominal toxic metal concentrations. I know that's not (rocket) Science, but I was pretty damned healthy.
And Violet: Like Mercury, Cadmium is a metal that accumulates in the body faster than it can be eliminated. Here's a pretty good round-up of Cadmium --
I set my friend JD to respond to the earlier Slog post on mercury, as I asked him, "This story doesn't jibe with my dad's stories of playing with globs of mercury in middle school science constantly while he was growing up, and he's a successful engineer now, not a slobbering mess. What gives?"
JD responded, "Combination of fearmongering and fun science! Firstly, pure mercury in liquid form (quicksilver) is relatively safe, even if you eat it. It absorbs horribly through the skin and digestive tract. It's only dangerous if you breath the fumes, and at low doses you have to do so pretty much chronically to see an effect (note: organic mercury compounds are much more dangerous, thus why fish can be scary (though not nearly as scary as they told us when we were kids)). As for the numbers in the article? "A tenth of a milligram per square yard"? What the fuck does that even mean? I assume they mean cubic yard, and from what I see the number is made up. Also? Any idea how many cubic yards are in your living room? I wouldn't worry overmuch: we've been using fluorescent bulbs for decades in every public building in America and they break pretty regular like."
@23: I agree. The units are totally fucked. I never saw anything that dumb in school, not even in my sediment transport class, part of which involved making totally ridiculous unit-conversion spreadsheets.
Got it. Thanks. :)
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