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What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?[edit | edit source]
Cobalt in its pure form is a hard, shiny silvery gray metal.
How was it discovered?[edit | edit source]
Cobalt has been known since ancient times.
Where did its name come from?[edit | edit source]
The name Cobalt is from the German kobalt, corresponding to our word kobold, referring to a sort of goblin that lives in underground mines.
Where is it found?[edit | edit source]
The biggest source of cobalt ores is Katanga Provice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Africa, in the Tenke Fungurume mine.
What are its uses?[edit | edit source]
From ancient times, cobalt was mainly used as a blue pigment in glass, ceramics, and glazes. Today it is mainly used in making very strong alloys.
Is it dangerous?[edit | edit source]
Yes. Ingesting even rather small amounts of cobalt can cause serious health problems. Back in the 1960s, some people in Canada had heart problems — and several died — apparently caused by a cobalt compound used to stabilize beer foam. Very tiny amounts of cobalt are actually needed for life; there's a little cobalt in Vitamin B12; but it's very rare for someone to have too little cobalt in their body.
Some people have an allergic skin reaction to contact with cobalt.