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Is the hype about Mercury an overreaction?
Is the hype about Mercury an overreaction?
Some years ago we discovered that heavy metals, including Mercury, are extremely dangerous to our health when ingested. We learned about this when we saw the results of people eating fish poisoned by Mercury.

Lead is another metal that falls into this category. We discovered its hazardous effects when toddlers ingested lead based paint from the woodwork in their rooms.

Many of us played with Mercury in our science classes long before anyone knew about the dangers.

In the epoxy and polyurethane formulating business, mercury is sometimes used as a catalyst. Mercury catalysts yield some extremely unique properties when combined with certain base resins. These properties are next to impossible to duplicate with any other material.

A good example of a unique Mercury catalyzed product, widely used for many years, is dental Amalgam. This is the stuff that Dentists have been using for years to fill cavities in our teeth. Millions of people are in constant contact, 24/7, with mercury catalyzed fillings in their teeth.

Since Mercury has been declared dangerous, all manufacturers, including epoxy and polyurethane formulators, have made every effort to reduce the level of Mercury contained in their materials. Many have tried to replace it totally but have found it impossible to maintain the unique cured properties.

There is a distinct probability that, with time, we will discover other widely used products to be dangerous under certain circumstances. The best sure-fire precaution is to treat all chemicals with respect, use them in moderation, prevent inhalation, skin contact and ingestion.

The dangers are clear. We should certainly maximize our efforts to eliminate dangerous products from our environment but we must also use common sense. Treat all chemicals as though they were dangerous.

 

See more Health and Safety considerations

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