Question: Our aggregate supplier is thinking of switching weight measurements from metric tons to megagrams. What is a megagram?

Answer: A megagram, abbreviated as Mg., is an alternative term for a metric ton, based upon the mass' weight of 1,000,000 grams. Since both terms describe the same mass measurement, many metrication experts are urging adoption of megagram in place of metric ton (or tonne) to avoid confusion. As many states continue to switch to metrics, the term "ton" may be interpreted as one of several measurement units. For instance, the customary inch-pound measure for a large mass is the short ton equaling 2,000 pounds. This is sometimes confused with the long ton (2,240 pounds), metric ton and tonne (both of which weigh in at 2,240.6 pounds) and register ton, a shipping term that's actually a measurement of volume, not weight. For more information on the megagram and other current construction metrication issues, contact the Construction Metrication Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences at 202-289-7800, or view its web site at www.nibs.org.