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Old 03-10-2019, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,355 posts, read 412,276 times
Reputation: 3016

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Iím 71 and did the same thing as a kid. I had a vial of it, donít remember where I got it, and would play with it. It was weird how heavy it felt compared to water. Also, if youíre old enough you probably had mercury amalgam fillings in your teeth (some have claimed they outgassed elemental mercury when subjected to high pressure....donít know if thatís true). Regardless, I experienced lots of both of the above and other health issues are more of a worry than that.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:57 AM
Status: "Chugging Along!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Southern California
4,990 posts, read 7,846,628 times
Reputation: 4426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue View Post
Woah, I've never in my life heard of such a thing as kids/teens playing w/ mercury & I sure never did it either! I remember my mom telling me when I was pretty young that it's dangerous, so I just remembered that ever since then. I had no curiosity to break a thermometer & play w/ it or "see", etc.

I guess the parents of the kids who played w/ it never told you guys not to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Maybe because our parents didn't know it was dangerous. It's not like there were news stories about it back in the sixties, no PSA, not a part of those goofy movies in health classes, no safety warning on the package, etc.
When it broke it left you with these fascinating, shiny little globules that were fun to play with. I don't think back then it occurred to people that something that was meant to be held in your mouth would contain toxic substances.
"Maybe my parents didn't know it was dangerous"?! I just said above in bolded red font that they told me that it WAS DANGEROUS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
You may be talking about a different era. The people who were posting about playing with mercury did it when no one knew it was dangerous. When I used to go to the dentist, he would set a mortar and pestle on the little tray and have you mash it and stir it until it was ready to be used for a filling. I just remember a gray powder and it would make weird little bubbles that would slide around.

If a DENTIST who used mercury every day, didn't know it was dangerous, how would a kid know?
Guess, so. My childhood was in the 1980s. My dentist sure never worked w/ it either.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:03 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,980 posts, read 13,847,745 times
Reputation: 21605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue;54641745[B
]Maybe my parent's didn't know it was dangerous?![/b] I just said above that they told me that it WAS.



Guess, so. My childhood was in the 1980s. My dentist sure never worked w/ it either.
OUR parents. Not yours. Most kids who played with mercury did so in the sixties and seventies. My kids were born in the eighties and by then people were beginning to hear that mercury was not something to be playing with.
So yes, your statement "I guess the parents of the kids who played w/ it never told you guys not to." is true, our parents didn't tell not to play with it because THEY were unaware of the dangers AT THAT TIME.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:13 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,536 posts, read 880,982 times
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--haven't read the thread but you should know: elemental Hg is biologically INERT-- you can drink it and it just moves right on thru without getting absorbed. It does NOT react with living cells. Perfectly safe. That's why it was used in medical thermometers until the LAWYERS got involved and used pseudoscientific lies to convince the courts it was a problem.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
22,274 posts, read 27,273,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
--haven't read the thread but you should know: elemental Hg is biologically INERT-- you can drink it and it just moves right on thru without getting absorbed. It does NOT react with living cells. Perfectly safe. That's why it was used in medical thermometers until the LAWYERS got involved and used pseudoscientific lies to convince the courts it was a problem.
Yep, it is the gaseous form that is dangerous, and those who played with elemental mercury were probably not exposed to enough to be harmed by it.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:47 PM
 
14,890 posts, read 30,485,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
--haven't read the thread but you should know: elemental Hg is biologically INERT-- you can drink it and it just moves right on thru without getting absorbed. It does NOT react with living cells. Perfectly safe. That's why it was used in medical thermometers until the LAWYERS got involved and used pseudoscientific lies to convince the courts it was a problem.
So Guido, you seem to know a lot about these things. What is your take on "mercury" amalgam fillings? I personally think there is just a lot of fear mongering out there about this, but I don't really know.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,355 posts, read 412,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Yep, it is the gaseous form that is dangerous, and those who played with elemental mercury were probably not exposed to enough to be harmed by it.
Actually, as guido is probably going to explain, methyl mercury, IIRC, is the main culprit. Regarding mercury vapors, see the attached video. Supposedly mercury can produce vapors at room temperature but very slowly. It is such strange stuff though being accustomed, as we are, to metals being anything but liquid under “normal” conditions.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JABbof...ature=youtu.be
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:36 AM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,351 posts, read 3,600,405 times
Reputation: 9336
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
You may be talking about a different era. The people who were posting about playing with mercury did it when no one knew it was dangerous. When I used to go to the dentist, he would set a mortar and pestle on the little tray and have you mash it and stir it until it was ready to be used for a filling. I just remember a gray powder and it would make weird little bubbles that would slide around.

If a DENTIST who used mercury every day, didn't know it was dangerous, how would a kid know?
I'm so glad you posted this because when I saw this thread that is the very first thing which came to mind. Our family dentist would give each of us kids a glass tube with mercury in it and we would take it home and play with it. Agree, if the highly educated DENTIST didn't know any better...how could we possibly know. Not until years later was there a health warning about having mercury fillings. So far so good, I'm still here.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:59 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,536 posts, read 880,982 times
Reputation: 5148
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
So Guido, you seem to know a lot about these things. What is your take on "mercury" amalgam fillings? I personally think there is just a lot of fear mongering out there about this, but I don't really know.

Mercury salts are quite poisonous adversely affecting renal function & nervous system at fairly low doses. Dental amalgams use elemental Mercury and are therefore inert. Intuitive proof that they're safe: we all have dental fillings and we're living generally longer, healthier lives. So how bad can it be? Renal problems can be traced to hypertension, DM & autoimmune diseases with no evidence Hg has anything to do with it.


In regards poisoning from Hg vapor, you pretty much need to have a whole vat of the liquid, cover it in a tent and stick your head in and breathe it for a fair length of time. Minor exposure to broken thermometers, light switches or gas meters won't do it --even tho the courts seem to think otherwise. But they're not talking about Justice. They're talking about The Law.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
23,940 posts, read 22,928,385 times
Reputation: 29333
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
--haven't read the thread but you should know: elemental Hg is biologically INERT-- you can drink it and it just moves right on thru without getting absorbed. It does NOT react with living cells. Perfectly safe. That's why it was used in medical thermometers until the LAWYERS got involved and used pseudoscientific lies to convince the courts it was a problem.
So I'm go to go. I loved when mom broke a thermometer.
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