Organo mercury compounds

Organic substances with at least one mercury atom

Organic mercury compounds are characterised by covalent bonds between carbon and mercury. In the past they were used for instance as herbicides and fungicides in plant protection (e.g. seed treatment), and as wood preservatives. Nowadays they are still used as disinfectants, e.g., in vaccines.

Organic mercury compounds are very toxic. Many of them are lipophilic and enrich in organisms.
The most common organic mercury compound in the environment is (mono)methylmercury which results mainly from natural methylation of inorganic mercury.


Methylmercury Organometallic compound that is naturally formed from inorganic mercury ions


Zebra mussel Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
Blue mussel One of the most important edible mussel species common in the North and Baltic Sea

Sampling area

Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
Rhein Longest river in Germany
NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.
Elbe Fourth largest river basin in Central Europe
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
Donau Second largest river in Europe

Sampling period

1986 - 2018