Wikijunior:The Elements/Arsenic

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Shows the position of Arsenic on the periodic chart.
%element%'s symbol on the Periodic Table

Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid.

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit | edit source]

Elemental arsenic

The most stable — and therefore the most common — form of pure arsenic is gray. There are also yellow and black forms. Yellow arsenic is the most unstable and the most toxic.

How was it discovered?[edit | edit source]

Compounds of arsenic have been known since ancient times — arsenic sulfates, and arsenic oxides. Pure arsenic is rare in nature. As far as we know, the first person to isolate pure arsenic was Albertus Magnus, a German friar and bishop, around the year 1250 CE.

Where did its name come from?[edit | edit source]

The Greek word arsenikos, meaning "male", "virile" was adopted in Latin as arsenicum, which in French became arsenic, from which the English word arsenic is taken.

Did You Know?

  • Arsenic has metallic and nonmetallic properties. It is a metalloid.
  • Arsenic comprises about 1.5 ppm (0.00015%) of the Earth's crust.
  • Arsenite of lime and arsenate of lead were used widely as insecticides until the discovery of DDT in 1942.

Where is it found?[edit | edit source]

Arsenic is a fairly common element on Earth. A lot of it is mined China. Other countries that mine a fair amount of arsenic are Cile, Peru, and Morocco.

What are its uses?[edit | edit source]

Arsenic is used in some alloys to make them harder. It was sometimes used in ancient times to make bronze harder. It is also used in some pesticides, although these are not used as much as they used to be because of concerns it could hurt people if it gets on their food.

Is it dangerous?[edit | edit source]

Arsenic is poisonous. It is used in pesticides.

References[edit | edit source]