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Chemical Elements

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Arsenic was discovered in the Early Bronze Age, around 2500 BC in early Greek, Chinese, and Egyptian societies. It was first isolated in AD 1250 by Albertus Magnus, a Catholic Saint and a doctor. He had isolated it by heating soap together with Arsenic Trisulfide. It was commonly mad into an alloy by blending it with bronze and creating Arsenical Bronze.


AsAtomic #: 33

In the Victorian Era, Arsenic was commonly used by women, who rubbed it on their faces, which gave them a paler complexion to make it quite obvious they did not work in the fields. In the 1800's, it was used in green pigments, such as Paris Green and Scheele's Green. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, it was used as an antibiotic. It has also been used in PET scanning and curing acute leukimia. The main use of metallic arsenic is alloying with lead to be used in car batteries, though there is very little arsenic used in this process.


Arsenic poisoning is very common in third-world countries where there is limited access to clean water. A common symptom of arsenic poisoning is Mees Lines, a loss of pigmentation in the nails (seen below). Recently, it has been found in rice and cheap wine. Arsenic poisoning can be fatal. In fact, Napolean Bonaparte died from it in prison.


Arsenic is found in nature as a shiny metallic solid. Its boiling point is 614 °C and its melting point is 817°C . Its density is 5.727 g/cm3. It appears on the periodic table as a metalloid and is in period 4, group 15.


Arsenic 0-5 cm in surface soil


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