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Mercury (element)

Mercury, also called quicksilver, is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Hg and atomic number 80.

A heavy, silvery, transition metal, mercury is one of five elements that are liquid at or near room temperature.

Mercury is used in thermometers, barometers and other scientific apparatus, although the use of mercury in thermometers has been largely phased out in clinical and scientific environments (in favor of alcohol-filled, digital or thermistor-based replacements) due to concerns about the element's toxicity.

Mercury, like lead, is a neurotoxin, and elevated blood mercury levels have led to retardation and deformities in children.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Mercury (element)", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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