Mercury (I) Chloride

By: Cole Collins

chemical name and formula

Mercury (I) Chloride

Formula Hg 2 Cl2

Common names that mercury (I) Chloride has

Calomel (witch is a mineral that is found in nature) or the other name for it is Mercurous chloride.

Physical/Chemical properties

1. It is a chemical compound.

2. It has mercury and chloride ions in it.

3. The mercury is in its +1 oxidation state.


1. It is used in electrochemistry as a reference electrode. Reference electrodes are used to find the electrode potentials of other chemical substance.

2. Decomposes when light is shined on it, it is used to see how many photons are in a light beam.

3. Used in medicinal purposes, but because of it being toxic, no longer used for medicinal purposes.

3 additional facts about Mercury (I) Chloride

1. It was used in medicine as a diuretic (laxative) in the United States from the late 1700's through the 1860's.

2. Used as teething powders in Britain up until 1954, causing widespread mercury poisoning in the form of "Pink Disease", which at the time had a mortality rate of 1 in 10

3. Used in cosmetics as soaps and skin lightening creams, but these and now illegal in many countries, including the US.