Problem: Mercury poisoning is a debilitating disease that is often fatal. In the human body, mercury reacts with essential enzymes leading to irreversible inactivity of these enzymes. If the amount of mercury in a polluted lake is 0.4 μg Hg/mL, what is the total mass in kilograms of mercury in the lake? (The lake has a surface area of 100 mi2 and an average depth of 20 ft.)

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The density of Hg was given as 0.4 μg Hg/mL. Now the density is basically mass per unit volume so we can calculate mass using the density and the volume.


However, we don't have a value for volume so we have to calculate that using the surface area and the depth using the formula below:

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Problem Details

Mercury poisoning is a debilitating disease that is often fatal. In the human body, mercury reacts with essential enzymes leading to irreversible inactivity of these enzymes. If the amount of mercury in a polluted lake is 0.4 μg Hg/mL, what is the total mass in kilograms of mercury in the lake? (The lake has a surface area of 100 mi2 and an average depth of 20 ft.)

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