commonly used as a poison
atomic number 33
atomic mass 74.9216 amu
boiling point 613.0°C
When heated in the air, arsenic
turns directly into a vapor (a process known as sublimation).
Arsenic conducts electricity
Arsenic appears in yellow,
black, and gray forms, with the gray form being
the most common.
Arsenic is found throughout the
world, usually in conjuction with sulfur and metals, with the most common
arsenic-bearing minerals being mispickel,
orpiment, realgar, arsenolite, and arsenopyrite.
It is usually recovered as a byproduct from the
purification of copper, gold,
About 50% of the world arsenic
supply comes from China, followed by Chile, Peru,
Arsenic has been used as a
poison for hundreds of years, due to its extreme
toxicity to insects, bacteria and fungi. Some
arsenic compounds, however, are used in cancer
medicines and stimulants. It is also used in
semiconductors, and to strengthen alloys of
copper, lead, and other metals.
Known since ancient times,
arsenic was first isolated by Albertus Magnus
about 1250. Its name comes from arsenikos,
the ancient Greek word for "male" (the
Greeks believed metals differed in sex).
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