Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, and is generally combined with oxygen, chlorine and sulphur to form inorganic arsenic compounds. Organic arsenic compounds are formed when the element combines with carbon and hydrogen.
Arsenic and compounds are used in wood preservatives and pesticides. Arsenic compounds are used for hardening copper, lead and other alloys, most arsenic compounds are manufactured using arsenic trioxide as a raw material and are also used for treating sulphide ores, pesticides and plant and veterinary chemicals.
Substance name: Arsenic
CASR number: 7440-38-2
Molecular formula: As
Synonyms: Grey arsenic, metallic arsenic
Pure arsenic is a silver-grey coloured metalloid (it has metallic as well as non-metallic properties). It can be heated to burn in air, giving off an odour of garlic and white fumes of arsenic trioxide.
Melting Point: 818°C (at 36 atmospheres)
Boiling Point: sublimes at 613°C
Arsenic is odourless and is usually combined with one or more other elements such as oxygen, chlorine and sulphur. Pure arsenic is not soluble in water or organic solvents, but can be dissolved by strong acids. Arsenic trioxide is sparingly soluble in water.
The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) holds data for all sources of arsenic and compounds emissions in Australia.
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