The periodic table lists all the elements that make up this universe. It has elements that are available on earth as well as the ones that are yet to be discovered. The period table is quite fascinating, as it reveals the building blocks of life and everything else in this universe. It’s also a mix of good and bad, as there are precious metals like gold and silver along with several toxic ones as well. To better understand the nasty ones, here’s a quick look at some of the most toxic elements on the periodic table.
Polonium – Marked as Po with atomic number 84, Polonium is a highly radioactive element. You wouldn’t want to mess with this element, as even a very small amount can kill you. As per estimates, a gram of polonium can kill ten million people. It is said to be several thousand times more toxic than cyanide. The only safeguard you have against polonium is that it is very rare on earth.
Mercury – Marked as Hg with atomic number 80, Mercury is toxic when ingested or inhaled. It was due to its toxicity that most modern thermometers have stopped using it. Various other industries have also eliminated or reduced usage of mercury. Mercury is dangerous, as it can work its way up the food chain and also contaminate air. Exposure to mercury leads to organ damage as well as neurological problems.
Arsenic – Marked As with atomic number 33, Arsenic has been used as a poison since the middle ages. The biggest risk of arsenic poisoning is from underground water that is contaminated with the element. Arsenic is also found in certain pesticides and wood preservatives. Low level of arsenic poisoning over prolonged periods can lead to cancer. A large dose can kill within hours.
Francium – Marked as Fr with atomic number 87, Francium is a highly reactive element. When exposed to even a tiny bit of water, Francium can explode violently. Even the small amounts of water on your hand can cause it to explode. Francium is also radioactive, which makes it even more lethal.
Lead – Marked as Pb with atomic number 82, Lead is widely used in various industries. If you test the items in your home, you will find lead in several of them. Even your body has lead in small quantities. Exposure to lead can adversely affect fertility, cognitive ability and blood pressure.
If you suspect poisoning from any of these elements, it’s recommended that you consult a doctor on an urgent basis. Laboratory tests can clearly indicate the presence of such toxic elements.