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Concept: Mercury-vapor lamp


To investigate 4 loci of 3 HSP70 genes in caustic soda production plant former workers, who have been exposed to metallic mercury vapors for a long time, and including numerous cases of chronic mercury intoxication (CMI).

Concepts: Water, Sodium, Mercury, Sodium hydroxide, Chlorine, Vapor, Mercury-vapor lamp, Lye


PURPOSE: To investigate the in vitro effect of pH, osmolarity, solvent, and light interaction on currently used and novel dyes to minimize dye-related retinal toxicity. DESIGN: Laboratory investigation. METHODS: Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) human cells (ARPE-19) were exposed for 10 minutes to different pH solutions (4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, and 9) and glucose solutions (2.5%, 5.0%, 10%, 20%, 40%, and 50%) with osmolarity from 142 to 2530 mOsm, with and without 0.5 mg/mL trypan blue. R28 cells were also incubated with glucose (150, 310, and 1000 mOsm) and mannitol used as an osmotic control agent in both experiments. Dye-light interaction was assessed by incubating ARPE-19 for 10 minutes with trypan blue, brilliant blue, bromophenol blue, fast green, light green, or indigo carmine (0.05 mg/mL diluted in balanced saline solution) in the presence of high-brightness xenon and mercury vapor light sources. RESULTS: Solutions with nonphysiologic pH, below 7 and above 7.5, proved to be remarkably toxic to RPE cells with or without trypan blue. Also, all glucose solutions were deleterious to RPE (P < .001) even in iso-osmolar range. No harmful effect was found with mannitol solutions. Among the dyes tested, only light green and fast green were toxic to ARPE-19 (P < .001). Light exposure did not increase RPE toxicity either with xenon light or mercury vapor lamp. CONCLUSIONS: Solutions containing glucose as a dye solvent or nonphysiologic pH should be used with care in surgical situations where the RPE is exposed. Light exposure under present assay conditions did not increase the RPE toxicity.

Concepts: Light, Retina, Mercury, Fluorescent lamp, Light pollution, Retinal pigment epithelium, Mercury-vapor lamp, Metal halide lamp


Lamotrigine is recently recognized as a persistent pharmaceutical in the water environment and wastewater effluents. Its degradation was studied under UV and ozone advanced oxidation treatments with reaction kinetics of lamotrigine with ozone (≈4M(-1)s(-1)), hydroxyl radical [(2.1±0.3)×10(9)M(-1)s(-1)] and by UV photolysis with low and medium pressure mercury vapor lamps [quantum yields ≈0 and (2.7±0.4)×10(-4) respectively] determined. All constants were measured at pH 6 and at temperature ≈20°C. The results indicate that lamotrigine is slow to respond to direct photolysis or oxidation by ozone and no attenuation of the contaminant is expected in UV or ozone disinfection applications. The compound reacts rapidly with hydroxyl radicals indicating that advanced oxidation processes would be effective for its treatment. Degradation products were identified under each treatment process using accurate mass time-of-flight spectrometry and pathways of decay were proposed. The main transformation pathways in each process were: dechlorination of the benzene ring during direct photolysis; hydroxyl group addition to the benzene ring during the reaction with hydroxyl radicals; and triazine ring opening after reaction with ozone. Different products that form in each process may be to a varying degree less environmentally stable than the parent lamotrigine. In addition, a novel method of ozone quenching without addition of salts is presented. The new quenching method would allow subsequent mass spectrometry analysis without a solid phase extraction clean-up step. The method involves raising the pH of the sample to approximately 10 for a few seconds and lowering it back and is therefore limited to applications for which temporary pH change is not expected to affect the outcome of the analysis.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Functional group, Radical, Hydroxyl, Hydroxyl radical, Ozone, Hydroxides, Mercury-vapor lamp


Despite measures to educate the public about the dangers of elemental mercury, spills continue to occur in homes, schools, health care facilities, and other settings, endangering the public’s health and requiring costly cleanup. Mercury is most efficiently absorbed by the lungs, and exposure to high levels of mercury vapor after a release can cause cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and visual disturbances (1). Children and fetuses are most susceptible to the adverse effects of mercury vapor exposure. Because their organ systems are still developing, children have increased respiratory rates, and they are closer to the ground where mercury vapors are most highly concentrated (2). To summarize key features of recent mercury spills and lessons learned, five state health departments involved in the cleanup (Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin) compiled data from various sources on nonthermometer mercury spills from 2012 to 2015. The most common sites of contamination were residences, schools and school buses, health care facilities, and commercial and industrial facilities. Children aged <18 years were present in about one third of the spills, with approximately one in seven incidents resulting in symptoms consistent with acute mercury exposure. To protect the public's health after a mercury spill, it is important that local, state, and federal agencies communicate and coordinate effectively to ensure a quick response, and to minimize the spread of contamination. To reduce the number of mercury spills that occur in the United States, public health officials should increase awareness about exchange programs for mercury-containing items and educate school and health care workers about sources of mercury and how to dispose of them properly.

Concepts: Health care, United States, Mercury, School, Mercury poisoning, Mercury-vapor lamp


Amalgam that is used for dental fillings contains approximately 50% elemental mercury. During dental student training, amalgam is often removed by drilling without the use of water spray and suction, which are protective measures in preventing mercury aerosol. In this study we measured mercury vapor levels in ambient air during amalgam removal as is typically performed in dental training.

Concepts: Chemical element, Mercury, Dental restoration, Mercury poisoning, Amalgam, Dental amalgam controversy, Mercury-vapor lamp


Ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UV LEDs) have become widespread in chemical research as highly efficient light sources for photochemistry and photopolymerization. However, in more complex experimental setups requiring highly concentrated light and highly spatially resolved patterning of the light, high-pressure mercury arc lamps are still widely used because they emit intense UV light from a compact arc volume that can be efficiently coupled into optical systems. Advances in the deposition and p-type doping of gallium nitride have recently permitted the manufacture of UV LEDs capable of replacing mercury arc lamps also in these applications. These UV LEDs exceed the spectral radiance of mercury lamps even at the intense I-line at 365 nm. Here we present the successful exchange of a high-pressure mercury arc lamp for a new generation UV LED as a light source in photolithographic chemistry and its use in the fabrication of high-density DNA microarrays. We show that the improved light radiance and efficiency of these LEDs offer substantial practical, economic and ecological advantages, including faster synthesis, lower hardware costs, very long lifetime, an >85-fold reduction in electricity consumption and the elimination of mercury waste and contamination.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Sunlight, Fluorescent lamp, Light-emitting diode, Incandescent light bulb, Infrared, Black light, Mercury-vapor lamp


Photolithography based on optical mask is widely used in academic research laboratories due to its low-cost, simple mechanism, and ability to pattern in micron sized features on a wafer scale area. Since the resolution is bound by diffraction limits of the light source, nano-scale patterning using photolithography requires short wavelength light source combined with sophisticated optical elements, adding complexity and cost. In this paper, a novel method of sub-wavelength patterning process using conventional i-line mercury lamp is introduced, without the use of such advanced optical tools. The method utilizes the re-entrant geometry of image reversal photoresist produced from the developing process, where a secondary mask is generated by isotropically depositing a metal layer to cover the re-entrant profile of the photoresist. Removing the photoresist by applying ultrasonic vibrations in acetone bath uniformly cracks the metal layer at the sidewalls of the re-entrant profile, exposing the substrate with a reduced feature size. The width of the initial mask pattern can be reduced down by 400 nm in a controlled manner, regardless of the original width choice. As a result, the method is shown to achieve sub-100 nm scale linear patterns compatible for both subsequent deposition process and dry etching process. Our approach is applicable to various shapes of the patterns, and can be used in electronic device fabrication requiring nanoscale lithography patterning, such as the gate fabrication of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT).

Concepts: Light, Integrated circuit, Semiconductor, Pattern, Photolithography, Semiconductor device fabrication, Mercury-vapor lamp, Dry etching


The neurotoxicity of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) is well-recognized, but it is uncertain whether and for how long neurotoxicity persists; among studies that evaluated previously exposed workers, only one examined workers during and also years after exposure ceased. The aim of this review is to document the type, frequency, and dose-relatedness of objective neurological effects in currently exposed mercury workers and thereby provide first approximations of the effects one would have expected in previously exposed workers evaluated during exposure. We systematically reviewed studies of neurotoxicity in currently exposed mercury workers identified by searching MEDLINE (1950-2015), government reports, textbook chapters, and references cited therein; dental cohorts were not included. Outcomes on physical examination (PE), neurobehavioral (NB) tests, and electrophysiological studies were extracted and evaluated for consistency and dose-relatedness. Forty-five eligible studies were identified, comprising over 3000 workers chronically exposed to a range of Hg(0) concentrations (0.002-1.7 mg/m(3)). Effects that demonstrated consistency across studies and increased frequency across urine mercury levels (<50; 50-99; 100-199; ≥200 μg/L) included tremor, impaired coordination, and abnormal reflexes on PE, and reduced performance on NB tests of tremor, manual dexterity and motor speed. The data suggest response thresholds of UHg ≈275 μg/L for PE findings and ≈20 μg/L for NB outcomes. These results indicate that PE is of particular value for assessing workers with UHg >200 μg/L, while NB testing is more appropriate for those with lower UHg levels. They also provide benchmarks to which findings in workers with historical exposure can be compared.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Chemical element, Motor control, Mercury, Exposure, Hand, Fine motor skill, Mercury-vapor lamp


Elemental mercury (Hg(0)) is a well-recognized neurotoxicant, but it is uncertain whether and for how long its neurotoxicity persists. Among studies that evaluated previously-exposed workers, only one examined workers during and also years after exposure had ceased. The objective of this review is to create a series of ‘synthetic’ longitudinal studies to address the question of persistence of Hg(0) neurotoxicity in occupationally exposed workers. We systematically reviewed studies describing objective motor and sensory effects in previously-exposed mercury workers. Data from physical examination (PE), neurobehavioral (NB) tests, and electrophysiological studies (EPS) were extracted into structured tables and examined for their consistency and dose-relatedness and then compared with the corresponding results from studies of currently exposed workers. We identified six cohorts that described neurological findings in 1299 workers, examined an average of 4.8-30 years after the cessation of exposure. Historical group mean UHg levels ranged from 23 to >500 μg/L, with UHg levels >6000 μg/L in some individuals. Overall, few findings were significant; most were inconsistent across the previous-exposure studies, and in comparisons between studies of previously and currently exposed workers. The results of this systematic review indicate that Hg(0)-related neurotoxic effects detectable on PE, NB testing, and EPS are substantially reversed over time. To the extent that such effects do persist, they are reported principally in workers who have had very high-dose exposures. In addition, based on the limited available data, those effects reported to persist have been described as having little or no functional significance.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Neurology, Chemical element, Mercury, Neurotoxicity, Persistence, Consistency, Mercury-vapor lamp


In 2015, workers dismantling a fluorescent lamp factory in Korea were affected by mercury poisoning from exposure to mercury vapor.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Mercury, Fluorescent lamp, Mercury-vapor lamp