Counteracting Methylation of Mercury

The discovery that microorganisms in sediments convert inorganic mercury to the soluble and more poisonous methyl mercury makes it important to inactivate the mercury already present in waterways. Suggestions include dredging; covering with fine material (which is effective if not disturbed); changing environmental pH and salinity; finding a catalyst to change methyl mercury chloride to dimethyl mercury, which is volatile and would escape from the water; and inactivating the sediment with mer-captans.

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