* Mercury is an element that is all over the planet and in the earth's crust.
* It can be found in soil, air, and water.
* There are different forms of mercury such as elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds.
* Elemental mercury is the most common form of mercury and it is a kind of silverish, white colored liquid when at room temperature. When elemental mercury gets heated it becomes a colorless and odorless gas.
* Inorganic mercury is less common and usually found disinfectants and fungicides.
* Organic mercury which is methylmercury is commonly found in the natural environment. A biological process happens to methylmercury that causes conversion. This conversion helps bioacclimation to new environments. Since methylmercury is the most common natural form of mercury it is frequently found in fish. Elemental mercury and methylmercury are highly toxic because of their ability to cross blood/brain barriers as well as placental barriers. Organic mercury is not as toxic as the other two but can cause damage as well in high exposures.
* Naturally occurring mercury is introduced in to the environment from wind, water, and volcanic activity breaking down rocks and minerals.
* Total mercury release has been increased by approximately 2/3's due to industrialization.