Methylmercury

  • Mercury(1+), methyl
  • Mercury(1+), methyl-ion
  • Methylmercury(1+)
  • Methylmercury ion
Formula
CH3Hg
Structure
Uses
Methyl mercury has no industrial uses, it is formed in the environment from the methylation of the inorganic mercurial ion.

Registry Numbers and Inventories.
CAS
22967-92-6
RTECS
OW6320000
RTECS class
Mutagen; Reproductive Effector
Beilstein/Gmelin
3902999
RCRA
D009

Properties.
Formula
CH3Hg
Formula mass
215.63

Hazards and Protection.
Storage
Keep in a cool, dry, dark location in a tightly sealed container or cylinder. Keep away from incompatible materials, ignition sources and untrained individuals. Secure and label area. Protect containers/cylinders from physical damage.
Handling
All chemicals should be considered hazardous. Avoid direct physical contact. Use appropriate, approved safety equipment. Untrained individuals should not handle this chemical or its container. Handling should occur in a chemical fume hood.
Protection
Wear appropriate clothing to prevent any possibility of skin contact. Wear eye protection to prevent any possibility of eye contact. Employees should wash immediately when skin is wet or contaminated. Work clothing should be changed daily if it is possible that clothing is contaminated. Remove non-impervious clothing immediately if wet or contaminated. Provide emergency showers and eyewash.
Respirators
Use NIOSH/MSHA approved respirator appropriate for exposure of concern.
Small spills/leaks
Evacuate area and ventilate. Wear protective equipment. If required, use an inert absrobent. Sweep up and place in an appropriate container for disposal. Wash contaminated surfaces.
Stability
No data.
Incompatibilities
Strong oxidizing agents.

Fire.
Fire fighting
Wear a self-contained breathing apparatus in pressure-demand, MSHA/NIOSH (approved or equivalent), and full protective gear. During a fire, irritating and highly toxic gases may be generated by thermal decomposition or combustion. Use agent most appropriate to extinguish fire.

Health.
Exposure limit(s)
IDHL: 2 mg/m3 (as Hg)
Exposure effects
Sensorimotor disturbances, and hearing and vision defects as a result of neurotoxicity may occur, principally as a result of alkyl (e.G. Ethyl or methyl mercury) mercury intoxication. Chronic exposure to alkyl mercury is more frequently associated with these effects. Profound adverse effects on the developing child or nursing infant can occur if there is maternal exposure to organic mercury. Pediatric exposure may result in impaired intellectual and motor development, in addition to the effects typically observed in adults. Prenatal exposure to organic mercury is associated with severe teratogenic effects including profound mental retardation, spasticity, seizures, and cerebral palsy.
   Ingestion
Organic mercury is well absorbed in the GI tract. Gastrointestinal disturbances are more common with phenyl mercuric salts, methoxyethyl salts and other aryl and alkoxyalkyl compounds. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea may occur. Methyl mercury and other alkylmercurials chiefly affect the neurological system, and are less likely to produce gastrointestinal effects.
   Inhalation
Respiratory failure has developed secondary to sensorimotor neuropathy.
   Skin
Organic mercury can be absorbed through the skin to produce systemic effects. Irritation or burns can result from exposure to some compounds. Sensitization has been reported.

First aid
 
   Ingestion
Seek medical attention. If individual is drowsy or unconscious, do not give anything by mouth; place individual on the left side with the head down. Contact a physician, medical facility, or poison control center for advice about whether to induce vomiting. If possible, do not leave individual unattended.
   Inhalation
If symptoms develop, move individual away from exposure and into fresh air. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. Keep person warm and quiet; seek immediate medical attention.
   Skin
Flush skin with plenty of soap and water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes.
   Eyes
Irrigate exposed eyes with copious amounts of tepid water for at least 15 minutes. If irritation, pain, swelling, lacrimation, or photophobia persist, the patient should be seen in a health care facility. Observe for development of clinical signs and symptoms. Treatment should include recommendations listed in the oral exposure section when appropriate.

Transport.