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     53    

53 I Iodine

Halogen, mass: 126.90 u, 1 stable isotope (127), abundance rank (earth/space): 70/52

Click image to magnify. Pure crystalline iodine, evaporating to purple I2 gas. Size of the biggest piece in cm: 0.5 x 0.5
Iodine crystals Evaporating iodine
Although it is a halogen, iodine has a metallic look and sometimes is seen as a metalloid. It is less reactive than the other halogens. Iodine is quite volatile and easily evaporates to purple gas. It is the element with the highest number that is essential to multicellular organisms, humans process it in their thyroid gland. Iodide is added to table salt, to prevent iodine deficiency. Tincture of iodine is used to disinfect wounds.
Several highly radioactive isotopes of iodine, which have half-lifes of some hours and days, occur as fission products from uranium and plutonium. Due to their accumulation in the thyroid gland, these are amongst the biggest threats after nuclear accidents.

Iodine stains paper brown Iodine in vial
Left: Iodine stains white paper brown. When the iodine is removed, the color slowly disappears.
Right: Iodine in a closed vial, from where it slowly evaporates and stains the adhesive tape brown, too.


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The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.



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