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IYPT Elements

IYPT 2019 Elements 086: Radon: Background radiation and underground health risk

Element 86 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is radon. Radon is the biggest source of natural background radiation and also has associated health risks.

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IYPT Elements

IYPT 2019 Elements 085: Astatine: Rare and unstable

Element 85 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is astatine. Astatine is incredibly scarce on Earth, and there’s so little of it around that we don’t know a great deal about it.

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IYPT Elements

IYPT 2019 Elements 084: Polonium: Radiation poisoning and moon rovers

Element 84 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is polonium. Polonium is a highly radioactive element which has been used as a heat source for space travel and exploration. It was also the centre of attention in a high-profile poisoning several years ago.

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IYPT Elements

IYPT 2019 Elements 083: Bismuth: Cosmetics and crackling fireworks

Element 83 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is bismuth. Bismuth’s compounds are used in some cosmetics and are also behind the fizzing, crackling sounds of some fireworks.

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IYPT Elements

IYPT 2019 Elements 082: Lead: Batteries, bullets and toxicity

Element 82 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is lead. Lead and its compounds have previously been used in petrol, water pipes and paints, though its toxicity has led many of its uses being discontinued. It’s still used in car batteries and bullets.

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IYPT Elements

IYPT 2019 Elements 081: Thallium: Rat poison and thermometers

Element 81 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is thallium. Thallium and its compounds are toxic, which limits their uses, though in the past it’s been used as a rat poison and in some types of thermometers.