Global efforts are underway to ban more MAPs to reduce mercury poisoning. Play at Springbok Online Casino – we’re MAP-free!

As good as our online casino was for you when we launched in 2010, as good it will remain for many decades to come.  Springbok online casino, and the industry as a whole, is an invention that is here to stand the test of time.  The same can’t be said for a few other once prized discoveries.  This includes mercury.

More About Mercury – The Element

Mercury is a chemical element that is represented by the symbol Hg on the periodic table, and the atomic number 80.  If you went to school back when the online casino was only a concept, we bet you would have played with mercury during science class at some point.

It appears as a liquidy, shiny metal at room temperature – hence being given the nickname of ‘quicksilver’.  It is fun to play with, yet lethal in many ways… and several incidents of mercury poisoning were reported as a result ‘back in the day’.

What is Mercury Used For?

If it wasn’t for its ‘poison factor’, mercury could easily be the perfect element as it has such a wide application.  In medicine, it is used for its therapeutic properties, which range from anti-parasitic to preservative and anti-inflammatory properties.  We all know it was a preferred ingredient in dental amalgam fillings.

Other day-to-day uses of the fascinating element include fluorescent lamps, tattoo ink (you read right),  telescopes, thermometers, explosives, vaccines (again, not a typo!), explosives, dermatological and beauty products – and much, much more.

Mercury is also highly conductive and has many electrical applications, being used in certain batteries, relay switches and more.  The very laptop you use to access our online casino might contain a traces of mercury in the shut off button.  You might even have mercury in your LCD screens and monitors as it is used in the tubes for backlighting!

Mercury was one of the first known metals.  It was used by the ancient Chinese and Hindus before 2000 BC and found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1500 BC.  How can an element that has so much to offer and that has been used for thousands of years be facing such serious bans?

It Took Time, Technology and Modern Science

In our current era where Springbok Online Casino reigns supreme as the number one online casino in South Africa, we also have access to other advanced data that the ancient Chinese and Egyptians did not.  It took a lot of time, along with modern science and technology to figure out that mercury is, in fact, deadly.

It was only in 1961 that Japanese scientists linked elevated urinary mercury levels with the previously mysterious Minamata disease.  The disease was found to be caused by methylmercury poisoning from fish and shellfish that were contaminated by the toxic chemical produced by factories… and disposed of into the ocean.

The disease caused severe symptoms, including neurological issues, sensory disturbances (such as nerve function deterioration), kidney damage, ataxia (affecting balance, walking, speech and swallowing), dysarthria (slurred or slow speech), narrowing of the visual fields, auditory disturbances and tremors.

Bingo!  No, we’re not referring to the bingo offered at our online casino.  Bingo, as in the link between mercury and illness was discovered.  The symptoms of Minamata disease is now understood to be that of extreme mercury poisoning.

The Massive Mercury Clean-up

As with all things that are initially great, and then found to be no so great – think about asbestos – recalls and clean-up efforts began.  Since seafood was deemed a big culprit, a big focus was on farming fish in mercury-free waters – and reducing the contamination of the ocean as part of an environmental effort.

Many chose to have dental fillings laden with mercury replaced…  The topic of dental fillings containing mercury is a rather controversial one in itself – and the opinions are divided.  Even so, thousands of patients with these dental amalgams have blamed their chronic afflictions, often suffered for decades, on the fillings.

A group called Consumers for Dental Choice  has even taken the matter the court where experts delivered contradicting evidence.  Some claim it is safe, yet other experts strongly oppose the ‘safe claims’, particularly about “mercury vapor” that escapes when you brush your teeth.  There have been cases where decade-long afflictions ended after removing fillings.  Coincidence… or not?

Apart from dental fillings, simple things like thermometers with mercury were done away with, along with loads of other MAPs.  Country after country, bans were implemented, which often included bans on the extraction of the rare element from cinnabar.

The big-clean didn’t end there and global efforts are ongoing.

South Africa Moves Ahead with Big Mercury Bans

The “latest draft regulations for the Management of Mercury in South Africa” were recently gazetted for public comment.  The move involves a “phase-out plan”, which will “prohibit the export, import, and manufacturing” of some mercury-added products (MAPs), as identified in the government gazette, by 1 April 2023.  This includes some light bulbs, batteries, switches and relays, cosmetics and pesticides.

At Springbok Online Casino, we’re all too happy with this plan as we’re all for conservation, and the sustainability of our planet and her inhabitants.  Thankfully, South Africa is part of a global treaty to “protect human health and the environment from toxic heavy metal”, known as “The Minamata Convention on Mercury”.

Mercury – named after the Roman god of the same name – remains a mesmerising element with many interesting facts.  Sadly, not enough was about the element to use it safely and to prevent the many lives lost and harmed.  Armed with the latest knowledge and data, we can now is look to a safer and less harmful future.

Out with Quicksilver – In with Online Casino Games!

Our online casino is certifiably mercury free and we do our bit for the greater good whenever we can.  We might not have any mercury-themed online casino games, but we do have stacks featuring ancient gods and… gold – a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79!

Our Springbok Casino game menu includes Ancient Gods, God of Wealth and Gods of Nature slots, Egyptian Gold, Cleopatra’s Gold, Khrysos Gold, Panda’s Gold slots and plenty of others.  Who knows, with new online casino slots being invented by RealTime Gaming month in and month out, a quicksilver-themed slot is not out of the question.