Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074
Textbook Problem

Mercury, lead, and arsenic in the environment are major concerns. Identify the main source or sources of these pollutants.

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The sources of given pollutants should be given.

Concept introduction:

Heavy metals: Elements having high atomic weight and the density will be multiple times that of water. The increase in concentration of these metals will lead to severe environmental problems.

Arsenic, chromium, mercury and lead are the top toxic metals known. They are considered to be carcinogens too.

The presence of heavy metals in the environment is due to industrial, agricultural, atmospheric and pharmaceutical sources.


The naturally occurring metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic … are called heavy metals. Their higher concentration may lead to toxicity in the environment and lead to major health problems.

These elements can be present in the environment from different sources. It includes industrial area, medicinal field, agricultural application…

The most important heavy metals are Mercury, lead and arsenic.

Mercury: It is a heavy metal with high toxicity and causes severe health issues. In the environment it is mainly found in the form of methylmercury.

The major source of mercury is from coal burning power plants. It is also utilized in nuclear reactors, electrical industry. Mercury is used for making dental amalgams in dentistry. Numerous industrial processes also produce mercury...

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