methyl mercury

Wiwaxia Sutton.james at epamail.epa.gox
Wed Sep 10 06:50:48 EST 1997

Anybody done any work with methyl mercury?  There's some confusion as to
whether dimethyl mercury and methyl mercury are synonymous. As I 
understand it (not a chemist), Hg has three oxidation states. The usual one 
is +2 when one Hg atom loses two electrons and can combine with either
two -1 species or one -2 species. There's also a +1 state but it involves
one +2 Hg ion and one neutral Hg atom to produce an (Hg2) +1.  Is this 
close to right?  

Now, the dimethyl mercury is easy (Me)2Hg but is it possible that there 
is a Me(Hg2) (sorry about the symbols) which is the real bad "methyl 

What safety protocols are you using?  Need to know because my wife may
start research on it soon.


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