Arsenic : Arsenic By Antoni Charles-Davis What is Arsenic? : What is Arsenic? Arsenic is element number 33 on the periodic table. It is located in period 4 and group 15
Arsenic’s symbol is AS What is Arsenic? : What is Arsenic? Arsenic is classified as a semi-metallic (metalloid) element.
Metalloids are elements that display characteristics of both metallic and non-metallic elements.
The other metalloids are: Antimony, Boron, Silicon, Germanium and Tellurium. Atomic Structure : Atomic Structure Arsenic’s atomic number is 33. This means that Arsenic has 33 protons. In an atom, there are the same amount of protons as electrons. This means that there are 33 electrons in an Arsenic atom, of course. An atom consists of a nucleus with positively charged Protons and Neutrons(Neutrons have no charge). Around the nucleus orbit negatively charged electrons. These electrons orbit the nucleus in shells. In an Arsenic atom the first electron shell contains two electrons. The second shell holds eight electrons. The third shell holds eighteen electrons. The fourth shell holds five electrons. Also, Arsenic’s atomic weight is 74.92 atomic mass units. Below is what an Arsenic atom looks like. Atomic Structure : Atomic Structure Arsenic in the Olden Days : Arsenic in the Olden Days Arsenic was discovered in the thirteenth century by a chemist called Albertus Magnus. He named his discovery Arsenic after Arsenikon, the Greek word for yellow orpiment. Orpiment is a yellow mineral whose chemical composition is As2 S3 (Arsenic Sulfide). At the time Arsenic was thought to be a key ingredient in medicine. People would mix an Arsenic compound with water to make a “tonic”. They would drink the “tonic” to cure virtually anything from Aneurysms to Zits. Later, in the nineteenth century Copper Arsenite was used as a pigment for green wall paper. When the wallpaper grew damp mold would grow. The mold would release another, more toxic compound into the air. Several people were killed. Characteristics : Characteristics Arsenic is a gray semi-metal. When Arsenic is exposed to air it turns yellow then quickly darkens to black. Arsenic is generally odorless. Arsenic is generally found in solid form. It is usually found with other elements (Arsenic Compounds). Arsenic is found in two types of compounds, organic and inorganic Arsenic. Organic Arsenic contains Carbon and Hydrogen. Inorganic Arsenic is when Arsenic is combined with Sedimentary and Igneous metals or other elements such as Sulfur and Oxygen. Organic Arsenic compounds are less poisonous than Inorganic Arsenic compounds. A lot of Arsenic compounds can be found in water. The majority of these compounds end up in the soil. Two things about Arsenic is that A. it can never be destroyed (it can only change form) and B. it is never found in liquid form. It goes directly from solid to gas(sublimation) at 1,135°F (613°C). Arsenic is also a deadly poison. Symptoms and Treatment of Arsenic Poisoning : Symptoms and Treatment of Arsenic Poisoning Arsenic poisoning is a very serious condition. Ingestion of low levels of Arsenic for a long time can cause moles or warts on the skin. This may even cause cancer over a very long time. Ingestion of higher levels of Arsenic can cause vomiting and decrease the production of white and red blood cells. Ingesting very high levels will most likely result in death. Even skin contact with inorganic Arsenic can cause redness. If you believe that you are ingesting or being exposed to Arsenic you eat a sulfur filled diet. Sulfur helps get some of the Arsenic out of your body. Next, take five Charcoal tablets every 15 minutes. Then seek medical attention. Doctors and paramedics will know more than you on how to get rid of the Arsenic in your body! Always seek medical attention! Uses for Arsenic : Uses for Arsenic Despite its toxicity Arsenic has quite a few uses. It is generally used because of its toxicity. It is used to kill animals such as insects and rats. Arsenic is also a common agent in weed killers. An Arsenic compound was once even used as a cure for syphilis. Arsenic is also used a lot in transistors since it is a semi-conductor. It is also used as a poison. Arsenic has been used a lot to kill husbands, wives and enemies. Arsenic was thought to be a cure all tonic (see “Arsenic in the olden days”) and was also used as a green pigment. Bibliography : Bibliography Images:
Arsenic, by Albert Stwertka, Guide to the Elements, Publisher: Oxford University, Copyright 2002
Arsenic, by Martin Elliot and John R. Wilson, The Raintree Illustrated Science Encyclopedia Volume 1, Publisher: Raintree Steck Vaughn Library, Copyright: 1991
Arsenic-National Research Council Canada, http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/education/elements/el/as.html 12/2/10
ASTDR-Tox FAQs: Arsenic 12/5/10 http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=19&tid=3
Arsenic Poisoning and Treatment 12/5/10 http://www.essortment.com/all/arsenicpoisonin_rljn.htm
Web Elements Periodic table of Elements/ Arsenic/ Essential Information 12/5/10 http://www.webelements.com/arsenic/index.html
Metalloids and Semimetals-Properties of Elements Groups 12/5/10 http://chemistry.about.com/od/elementgroups/a/metalloids.htm
Orpiment(Arsenic Sulfide) 12/4/10 http://www.galleries.com/minerals/sulfides/orpiment/orpiment.htm
Arsenic- 12/3/10 http://www.chemicool.com/elements/arsenic.html