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Mercuric chloride (HgCl2) Quickview (CASRN 7487-94-7)

Health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in IRIS only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data by U.S. EPA health scientists from several Program Offices, Regional Offices, and the Office of Research and Development.

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Status of Data for Mercuric chloride (HgCl2)

File First On-Line: 05/01/1995; Last Significant Revision: 05/01/1995

Category (section)
Last Revised
Oral RfD Assessment Yes 05/01/1995
Inhalation RfC Assessment No
Carcinogenicity Assessment Yes 05/01/1995
  • 7487-94-7
  • HGCL2
  • Mercuric chloride
  • Mercury chloride (HGCL2)
  • Mercury dichloride
  • Mercury(ii) chloride
  • Bichloride of mercury
  • Bichlorure de mercure [French]
  • Caswell No. 544
  • Chlorid rtutnaty [Czech]
  • Chlorure de mercure ii [French]
  • more...
Mercuric chloride (HgCl2) Source Documents
Revision History
Date Section Description
04/01/1997 III., IV., V. Drinking Water Health Advisories, EPA Regulatory Actions, and Supplementary Data were removed from IRIS on or before April 1997. IRIS users were direced to the appropriate EPA Program Offices for this information.
Chronic Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarcinogenic Effects

Reference Dose for Chronic Oral Exposure (RfD)

Critical Effect
Point of Departure*
Autoimmune effects (autoimmune glomerulonephritis) LOAEL : 3.17 x10-1 mg/kg-day 1000 3 x10-4 mg/kg-day

* The Point of Departure listed serves as a basis from which the Oral RfD was derived. See Discussion of Conversion Factors and Assumptions for more details.

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Reference Concentration for Chronic Inhalation Exposure (RfC)

Not Assessed under the IRIS Program.

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Carcinogenicity Assessment for Lifetime Exposure
  • Weight-of-Evidence Characterization
    • C (Possible human carcinogen)
  • Weight-of-Evidence Narrative:
    • Based on the absence of data in humans and limited evidence of carcinogenicity in rats and mice. Focal papillary hyperplasia and squamous cell papillomas in the forestomach as well as thyroid follicular cell adenomas and carcinomas were observed in male rats gavaged with mercuric chloride for 2 years. The relevance of the forestomach papillomas to assessment of cancer in humans is questionable because no evidence indicated that the papillomas progressed to malignancy. The relevance of the increase in thyroid tumors has also been questioned because these tumors are generally considered to be secondary to hyperplasia; this effect was not observed in the high-dose males. It should also be noted that the authors considered the doses used in the study to exceed the MTD for male rats. In the same study, evidence for increases in squamous cell papillomas in the forestomach of female rats was equivocal. In a second study, equivocal evidence for renal adenomas and adenocarcinomas was observed in male mice; there was a significant positive trend. This tumor type is rare in mice, and the increase in incidence was statistically significant when compared with historic controls. Two other nonpositive lifetime rodent studies were considered inadequate. Mercuric chloride showed mixed results in a number of genotoxicity assays.
    • This may be a synopsis of the full weight-of-evidence narrative. See IRIS Summary.

Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Oral Exposure

  • Information reviewed but value not estimated. See IRIS Summary.

Quantitative Estimate of Carcinogenic Risk from Inhalation Exposure

  • Not Assessed under the IRIS Program.

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