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     33    

33 As Arsenic

Metalloid, mass: 74.922 u, 1 stable isotope (75). Abundance rank (earth/space): 47/37

Click image to magnify. Ultrapure metallic arsenic under argon, 1 - 2 grams. Original size of each piece in cm: 0.5 x 1
Two pieces of arsenic One piece of arsenic
Arsenic, which is known since ancient times, sometimes natively occurs in nature as a grey metal. In its compounds it is one of the most toxic elements. Arsenic trioxide, As2O3, was for many centuries the most popular poison for assassination. But arsenic also was and is still used as a pharmaceutical and was the main ingredient in the first chemotherapy. Today, it is mainly used in lead alloys and for special semiconductors. The handling of arsenic is always very dangerous and needs special safety precautions. A deadly dose is about one tenth of a gram.

Realgar
Realgar, arsenic sulfide, As4S4, a red arsenic mineral, probably mixed with the yellow orpiment, As2S3, as inclusion in ulexite. Arsenic sulfides too are very toxic, but were used for centuries as pigments in painting.


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