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Bismuth, 83Bi
Bismuth crystals and 1cm3 cube.jpg
Pronunciation /ˈbɪzməθ/ (BIZ-məth)
Appearancelustrous brownish silver
Standard atomic weight Ar°(Bi)
Bismuth in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson


Atomic number (Z)83
Group group 15 (pnictogens)
Period period 6
Block   p-block
Electron configuration [ Xe ] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p3
Electrons per shell2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 5
Physical properties
Phase at  STP solid
Melting point 544.7  K (271.5 °C,520.7 °F)
Boiling point 1837 K(1564 °C,2847 °F)
Density (near  r.t.)9.78 g/cm3
when liquid (at  m.p.)10.05 g/cm3
Heat of fusion 11.30  kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization 179 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity 25.52 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa)1101001 k10 k100 k
at T (K)94110411165132515381835
Atomic properties
Oxidation states −3, −2, −1, 0, [3] +1, +2, +3, +4, +5 (a mildly acidic oxide)
Electronegativity Pauling scale: 2.02
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 703 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1610 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 2466 kJ/mol
  • (more)
Atomic radius empirical:156  pm
Covalent radius 148±4 pm
Van der Waals radius 207 pm
Bismuth spectrum visible.png
Spectral lines of bismuth
Other properties
Natural occurrence primordial
Crystal structure rhombohedral [4]
Thermal expansion 13.4 µm/(m⋅K)(at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity 7.97 W/(m⋅K)
Electrical resistivity 1.29 µΩ⋅m(at 20 °C)
Magnetic ordering diamagnetic
Molar magnetic susceptibility −280.1×10−6 cm3/mol [5]
Young's modulus 32 GPa
Shear modulus 12 GPa
Bulk modulus 31 GPa
Speed of sound thin rod1790 m/s(at 20 °C)
Poisson ratio 0.33
Mohs hardness 2.25
Brinell hardness 70–95 MPa
CAS Number 7440-69-9
Discovery Arabic alchemists (before AD 1000)
Isotopes of bismuth
Main isotopes [6] Decay
abun­dance half-life (t1/2) mode pro­duct
207Bi synth 31.55 y β+ 207Pb
208Bisynth3.68×105 yβ+ 208Pb
209Bi 100%2.01×1019 y α 205Tl
210Bi trace 5.012 d β 210Po
α 206Tl
210mBisynth3.04×106 y IT 210Bi
α 206Tl
Symbol category class.svg  Category: Bismuth
| references

Bismuth is a chemical element; it has symbol Bi and atomic number 83. It is a post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens, with chemical properties resembling its lighter group 15 siblings arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth occurs naturally, and its sulfide and oxide forms are important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead. It is a brittle metal with a silvery-white color when freshly produced. Surface oxidation generally gives samples of the metal a somewhat rosy cast. Further oxidation under heat can give bismuth a vividly iridescent appearance due to thin-film interference. Bismuth is both the most diamagnetic element and one of the least thermally conductive metals known.


Bismuth was long considered the element with the highest atomic mass whose nuclei do not spontaneously decay. However, in 2003 it was discovered to be extremely weakly radioactive. The metal's only primordial isotope, bismuth-209, undergoes alpha decay with a half-life about a billion times the estimated age of the universe. [7] [8]

Bismuth metal has been known since ancient times. Before modern analytical methods bismuth's metallurgical similarities to lead and tin often led it to be confused with those metals. The etymology of "bismuth" is uncertain. The name may come from mid-sixteenth century Neo-Latin translations of the German words weiße Masse or Wismuth, meaning 'white mass', which were rendered as bisemutum or bisemutium.

Bismuth compounds account for about half the global production of bismuth. They are used in cosmetics; pigments; and a few pharmaceuticals, notably bismuth subsalicylate, used to treat diarrhea. [8] Bismuth's unusual propensity to expand as it solidifies is responsible for some of its uses, as in the casting of printing type. [8] Bismuth, when in its elemental form, has unusually low toxicity for a heavy metal. [8] As the toxicity of lead and the cost of its environmental remediation became more apparent during the 20th century, suitable bismuth alloys have gained popularity as replacements for lead. Presently, around a third of global bismuth production is dedicated to needs formerly met by lead.

History and etymology

Bismuth metal has been known since ancient times and it was one of the first 10 metals to have been discovered. The name bismuth dates to around 1665 and is of uncertain etymology. The name possibly comes from obsolete German Bismuth, Wismut, Wissmuth (early 16th century), perhaps related to Old High German hwiz ("white"). [9] The Neo-Latin bisemutium (coined by Georgius Agricola, who Latinized many German mining and technical words) is from the German Wismuth, itself perhaps from weiße Masse, meaning "white mass". [10] [11]

The element was confused in early times with tin and lead because of its resemblance to those elements. Because bismuth has been known since ancient times, no one person is credited with its discovery. Agricola (1546) states that bismuth is a distinct metal in a family of metals including tin and lead. This was based on observation of the metals and their physical properties. [12]

Miners in the age of alchemy also gave bismuth the name tectum argenti, or "silver being made" in the sense of silver still in the process of being formed within the Earth. [13] [14] [15]

Bismuth was also known to the Incas and used (along with the usual copper and tin) in a special bronze alloy for knives. [16]

Alchemical symbol used by Torbern Bergman (1775) Bismuth symbol.svg
Alchemical symbol used by Torbern Bergman (1775)

Beginning with Johann Heinrich Pott in 1738, [17] Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and Torbern Olof Bergman, the distinctness of lead and bismuth became clear, and Claude François Geoffroy demonstrated in 1753 that this metal is distinct from lead and tin. [14] [18] [19]


Left: A bismuth hopper crystal exhibiting the stairstep crystal structure and iridescent colors, which are produced by interference of light within the oxide film on its surface. Right: a 1 cm cube of unoxidised bismuth metal Wismut Kristall und 1cm3 Wuerfel.jpg
Left: A bismuth hopper crystal exhibiting the stairstep crystal structure and iridescent colors, which are produced by interference of light within the oxide film on its surface. Right: a 1 cm cube of unoxidised bismuth metal

Physical characteristics

Pressure-temperature phase diagram of bismuth. TC refers to the superconducting transition temperature Bi phase diagram.png
Pressure-temperature phase diagram of bismuth. TC refers to the superconducting transition temperature

Bismuth is a brittle metal with a dark, silver-pink hue, often with an iridescent oxide tarnish showing many colors from yellow to blue. The spiral, stair-stepped structure of bismuth crystals is the result of a higher growth rate around the outside edges than on the inside edges. The variations in the thickness of the oxide layer that forms on the surface of the crystal cause different wavelengths of light to interfere upon reflection, thus displaying a rainbow of colors. When burned in oxygen, bismuth burns with a blue flame and its oxide forms yellow fumes. [18] Its toxicity is much lower than that of its neighbors in the periodic table, such as lead and antimony. [20]

No other metal is verified to be more naturally diamagnetic than bismuth. [18] [21] (Superdiamagnetism is a different physical phenomenon.) Of any metal, it has one of the lowest values of thermal conductivity (after manganese, neptunium and plutonium) and the highest Hall coefficient. [22] It has a high electrical resistivity. [18] When deposited in sufficiently thin layers on a substrate, bismuth is a semiconductor, despite being a post-transition metal. [23] Elemental bismuth is denser in the liquid phase than the solid, a characteristic it shares with germanium, silicon, gallium, and water. [24] Bismuth expands 3.32% on solidification; therefore, it was long a component of low-melting typesetting alloys, where it compensated for the contraction of the other alloying components [18] [25] [26] [27] to form almost isostatic bismuth-lead eutectic alloys.

Though virtually unseen in nature, high-purity bismuth can form distinctive, colorful hopper crystals. It is relatively nontoxic and has a low melting point just above 271 °C, so crystals may be grown using a household stove, although the resulting crystals will tend to be of lower quality than lab-grown crystals. [28]

At ambient conditions, bismuth shares the same layered structure as the metallic forms of arsenic and antimony, [29] crystallizing in the rhombohedral lattice [30] (Pearson symbol hR6, space group R3m No. 166) of the trigonal crystal system. [4] When compressed at room temperature, this Bi-I structure changes first to the monoclinic Bi-II at 2.55 GPa, then to the tetragonal Bi-III at 2.7 GPa, and finally to the body-centered cubic Bi-V at 7.7 GPa. The corresponding transitions can be monitored via changes in electrical conductivity; they are rather reproducible and abrupt and are therefore used for calibration of high-pressure equipment. [31] [32]

Chemical characteristics

Bismuth is stable to both dry and moist air at ordinary temperatures. When red-hot, it reacts with water to make bismuth(III) oxide. [33]

2 Bi + 3 H2O → Bi2O3 + 3 H2

It reacts with fluorine to make bismuth(V) fluoride at 500 °C or bismuth(III) fluoride at lower temperatures (typically from Bi melts); with other halogens it yields only bismuth(III) halides. [34] [35] [36] The trihalides are corrosive and easily react with moisture, forming oxyhalides with the formula BiOX. [37]

4 Bi + 6 X2 → 4 BiX3 (X = F, Cl, Br, I)
4 BiX3 + 2 O2 → 4 BiOX + 4 X2

Bismuth dissolves in concentrated sulfuric acid to make bismuth(III) sulfate and sulfur dioxide. [33]

6 H2SO4 + 2 Bi → 6 H2O + Bi2(SO4)3 + 3 SO2

It reacts with nitric acid to make bismuth(III) nitrate (which decomposes into nitrogen dioxide when heated [38] ). [39]

Bi + 6 HNO3 → 3 H2O + 3 NO2 + Bi(NO3)3

It also dissolves in hydrochloric acid, but only with oxygen present. [33]

4 Bi + 3 O2 + 12 HCl → 4 BiCl3 + 6 H2O


The only primordial isotope of bismuth, bismuth-209, was traditionally regarded as the heaviest stable isotope, but it had long been suspected [40] to be unstable on theoretical grounds. This was finally demonstrated in 2003, when researchers at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France, measured the alpha emission half-life of 209
to be 2.01×1019 years (3 Bq/M g), [41] [42] over a billion times longer than the current estimated age of the universe. [8] Owing to its extraordinarily long half-life, for all presently known medical and industrial applications, bismuth can be treated as if it is stable and nonradioactive. The radioactivity is of academic interest because bismuth is one of a few elements whose radioactivity was suspected and theoretically predicted before being detected in the laboratory. [8] Bismuth has the longest known alpha decay half-life, although tellurium-128 has a double beta decay half-life of over 2.2×1024 years. [42] Bismuth's extremely long half-life means that less than approximately one-billionth of the bismuth present at the formation of the planet Earth would have decayed into thallium since then.

Six isotopes of bismuth with short half-lives (210 through 215 inclusive) occur within the natural radioactive disintegration chains of actinium, radium, thorium, and neptunium, and more have been synthesized experimentally. (Although all primordial 237Np has long since decayed, it is continually regenerated by (n,2n) knockout reactions on natural 238U.) [43] [44]

Commercially, the radioactive isotope bismuth-213 can be produced by bombarding radium with bremsstrahlung photons from a linear particle accelerator. In 1997, an antibody conjugate with bismuth-213, which has a 45-minute half-life and decays with the emission of an alpha particle, was used to treat patients with leukemia. This isotope has also been tried in cancer treatment, for example, in the targeted alpha therapy (TAT) program. [45] [46]

Chemical compounds

Bismuth(III) oxide powder Bismuth(III) oxide 2.jpg
Bismuth(III) oxide powder

Chemically, bismuth resembles arsenic and antimony, but is much less toxic. [20] In almost all known compounds, bismuth has oxidation state +3; a few have states +5 or -3.

The trioxide [24] [47] and trisulfide can both be made from the elements, [48] [35] although the trioxide is extremely corrosive at high temperatures. [36] The pentoxide is not stable at room temperature, and will evolve O
gas if heated. [49] Both oxides form complex anions, [50] [51] and NaBiO3 is a strong oxidising agent. [51] The trisulfide is common in bismuth ore. [48]

Similarly, bismuth forms all possible trihalides, but the only pentahalide is BiF5. All are Lewis acids. [33] Bismuth forms several formally-BiI halides; these are complex salts with unusually-structured polyatomic cations and anions. [50] [52]

Bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl) structure (mineral bismoclite). Bismuth atoms are shown as grey, oxygen red, chlorine green. MatlockiteStructure.png
Bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl) structure (mineral bismoclite). Bismuth atoms are shown as grey, oxygen red, chlorine green.

In strongly acidic aqueous solution, the Bi3+
ion solvates to form Bi(H
. [53] As pH increases, the cations polymerize until the octahedral bismuthyl complex [Bi
, [54] often abbreviated BiO+. Although bismuth oxychloride and bismuth oxynitrate have stoichiometries suggesting the ion, they are double salts instead. [55] Bismuth nitrate (not oxynitrate) is famous as one of the few aqueous-insoluble nitrate salts.

Bismuth forms very few stable bismuthides, intermetallic compounds in which it attains oxidation state -3. [56] [ self-published source? ] [57] The hydride spontaneously decomposes at room temperature and stabilizes only below −60 °C. [50] Sodium bismuthide has interest as a topological Dirac insulator. [58] [59]

Occurrence and production

Bismite mineral Bismite.jpg
Bismite mineral
Chunk of a broken bismuth ingot BrokenBismuthIngot.jpg
Chunk of a broken bismuth ingot

In the Earth's crust, bismuth is about twice as abundant as gold. It is the 70th most abundant element in the crust. The most important ores of bismuth are bismuthinite and bismite. [18] Native bismuth is known from Australia, Bolivia, and China. [60] [61]

World bismuth production, 2022, in tonnes
CountryRefining [62]
South Korea950

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 10,200 tonnes of bismuth were produced worldwide by mining and 17,100 tonnes by refining in 2016. Since then, USGS does not provide mining data for bismuth, considering them unreliable. Globally, bismuth is mostly produced by refining, as a byproduct of extraction of other metals such as lead, copper, tin, molybdenum and tungsten, though the refining-to-mining ratio depends on the country. [63] [64] [65] [66]

Bismuth travels in crude lead bullion (which can contain up to 10% bismuth) through several stages of refining, until it is removed by the Kroll-Betterton process which separates the impurities as slag, or the electrolytic Betts process. Bismuth will behave similarly with another of its major metals, copper. [64] The raw bismuth metal from both processes contains still considerable amounts of other metals, foremost lead. By reacting the molten mixture with chlorine gas the metals are converted to their chlorides while bismuth remains unchanged. Impurities can also be removed by various other methods for example with fluxes and treatments yielding high-purity bismuth metal (over 99% Bi). [67]


World mine production and annual averages of bismuth price (New York, not adjusted for inflation). BiPrice.png
World mine production and annual averages of bismuth price (New York, not adjusted for inflation).

The price for pure bismuth metal has been relatively stable through most of the 20th century, except for a spike in the 1970s. Bismuth has always been produced mainly as a byproduct of lead refining, and thus the price usually reflected the cost of recovery and the balance between production and demand. [68]

Prior to World War II, demand for bismuth was small and mainly pharmaceutical — bismuth compounds were used to treat such conditions as digestive disorders, sexually transmitted diseases and burns. Minor amounts of bismuth metal were consumed in fusible alloys for fire sprinkler systems and fuse wire. During World War II bismuth was considered a strategic material, used for solders, fusible alloys, medications and atomic research. To stabilize the market, the producers set the price at $1.25 per pound ($2.75 /kg) during the war and at $2.25 per pound ($4.96 /kg) from 1950 until 1964. [68]

In the early 1970s, the price rose rapidly as a result of increasing demand for bismuth as a metallurgical additive to aluminium, iron and steel. This was followed by a decline owing to increased world production, stabilized consumption, and the recessions of 1980 and 1981–1982. In 1984, the price began to climb as consumption increased worldwide, especially in the United States and Japan. In the early 1990s, research began on the evaluation of bismuth as a nontoxic replacement for lead in ceramic glazes, fishing sinkers, food-processing equipment, free-machining brasses for plumbing applications, lubricating greases, and shot for waterfowl hunting. [69] Growth in these areas remained slow during the middle 1990s, in spite of the backing of lead replacement by the United States federal government, but intensified around 2005. This resulted in a rapid and continuing increase in price. [68]


Most bismuth is produced as a byproduct of other metal-extraction processes including the smelting of lead, and also of tungsten and copper. Its sustainability is dependent on increased recycling, which is problematic. [70]

It was once believed that bismuth could be practically recycled from the soldered joints in electronic equipment. Recent efficiencies in solder application in electronics mean there is substantially less solder deposited, and thus less to recycle. While recovering the silver from silver-bearing solder may remain economic, recovering bismuth is substantially less so. [71]

Dispersed bismuth is used in certain stomach medicines (bismuth subsalicylate), paints (bismuth vanadate), pearlescent cosmetics (bismuth oxychloride), and bismuth-containing bullets. Recycling bismuth from these uses is impractical. [67]


18th-century engraving of bismuth processing. During this era, bismuth was used to treat some digestive complaints. Processing of bismuth. Etching. Wellcome V0023568.jpg
18th-century engraving of bismuth processing. During this era, bismuth was used to treat some digestive complaints.

Bismuth has few commercial applications, and those applications that use it generally require small quantities relative to other raw materials. In the United States, for example, 733 tonnes of bismuth were consumed in 2016, of which 70% went into chemicals (including pharmaceuticals, pigments, and cosmetics) and 11% into bismuth alloys. [67]

In the early 1990s, researchers began to evaluate bismuth as a nontoxic replacement for lead in various applications. [67]


Bismuth is an ingredient in some pharmaceuticals, [8] although the use of some of these substances is declining. [55]

Cosmetics and pigments

Bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl) is sometimes used in cosmetics, as a pigment in paint for eye shadows, hair sprays and nail polishes. [8] [55] [83] [84] This compound is found as the mineral bismoclite and in crystal form contains layers of atoms (see figure above) that refract light chromatically, resulting in an iridescent appearance similar to nacre of pearl. It was used as a cosmetic in ancient Egypt and in many places since. Bismuth white (also "Spanish white") can refer to either bismuth oxychloride or bismuth oxynitrate (BiONO3), when used as a white pigment. [85] Bismuth vanadate is used as a light-stable non-reactive paint pigment (particularly for artists' paints), often as a replacement for the more toxic cadmium sulfide yellow and orange-yellow pigments. The most common variety in artists' paints is a lemon yellow, visually indistinguishable from its cadmium-containing alternative. [86]

Metal and alloys

Bismuth is used in alloys with other metals such as tin and lead. Wood's metal, an alloy of bismuth, lead, tin, and cadmium is used in automatic sprinkler systems for fires. It forms the largest part (50%) of Rose's metal, a fusible alloy, which also contains 25–28% lead and 22–25% tin. It was also used to make bismuth bronze which was used in the Bronze Age, having been found in Inca knives at Machu Picchu. [87]

Lead replacement

The density difference between lead (11.32 g/cm3) and bismuth (9.78 g/cm3) is small enough that for many ballistics and weighting applications, bismuth can substitute for lead. For example, it can replace lead as a dense material in fishing sinkers. It has been used as a replacement for lead in shot, bullets and less-lethal riot gun ammunition. The Netherlands, Denmark, England, Wales, the United States, and many other countries now prohibit the use of lead shot for the hunting of wetland birds, as many birds are prone to lead poisoning owing to mistaken ingestion of lead (instead of small stones and grit) to aid digestion, or even prohibit the use of lead for all hunting, such as in the Netherlands. Bismuth-tin alloy shot is one alternative that provides similar ballistic performance to lead. [67]

Bismuth, as a dense element of high atomic weight, is used in bismuth-impregnated latex shields to shield from X-ray in medical examinations, such as CTs, mostly as it is considered non-toxic. [88]

The European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) for reduction of lead has broadened bismuth's use in electronics as a component of low-melting point solders, as a replacement for traditional tin-lead solders. [67] Its low toxicity will be especially important for solders to be used in food processing equipment and copper water pipes, although it can also be used in other applications including those in the automobile industry, in the European Union, for example. [89]

Bismuth has been evaluated as a replacement for lead in free-machining brasses for plumbing applications, [90] although it does not equal the performance of leaded steels. [89]

Other metal uses and specialty alloys

Many bismuth alloys have low melting points and are found in specialty applications such as solders. Many automatic sprinklers, electric fuses, and safety devices in fire detection and suppression systems contain the eutectic In19.1-Cd5.3-Pb22.6-Sn8.3-Bi44.7 alloy that melts at 47 °C (117 °F) [18] This is a convenient temperature since it is unlikely to be exceeded in normal living conditions. Low-melting alloys, such as Bi-Cd-Pb-Sn alloy which melts at 70 °C, are also used in automotive and aviation industries. Before deforming a thin-walled metal part, it is filled with a melt or covered with a thin layer of the alloy to reduce the chance of breaking. Then the alloy is removed by submerging the part in boiling water. [91]

Bismuth is used to make free-machining steels and free-machining aluminium alloys for precision machining properties. It has similar effect to lead and improves the chip breaking during machining. The shrinking on solidification in lead and the expansion of bismuth compensate each other and therefore lead and bismuth are often used in similar quantities. [92] [93] Similarly, alloys containing comparable parts of bismuth and lead exhibit a very small change (on the order 0.01%) upon melting, solidification or aging. Such alloys are used in high-precision casting, e.g. in dentistry, to create models and molds. [91] Bismuth is also used as an alloying agent in production of malleable irons [67] and as a thermocouple material. [18]

Bismuth is also used in aluminium-silicon cast alloys in order to refine silicon morphology. However, it indicated a poisoning effect on modification of strontium. [94] [95] Some bismuth alloys, such as Bi35-Pb37-Sn25, are combined with non-sticking materials such as mica, glass and enamels because they easily wet them allowing to make joints to other parts. Addition of bismuth to caesium enhances the quantum yield of caesium cathodes. [55] Sintering of bismuth and manganese powders at 300 °C produces a permanent magnet and magnetostrictive material, which is used in ultrasonic generators and receivers working in the 10–100 kHz range and in magnetic and holographic memory devices. [96]

Other uses as compounds

Bismuth vanadate, a yellow pigment Bismuthvanadat.jpg
Bismuth vanadate, a yellow pigment

Toxicology and ecotoxicology

See also bismuthia, a rare dermatological condition that results from the prolonged use of bismuth.

Scientific literature indicates that some of the compounds of bismuth are less toxic to humans via ingestion than other heavy metals (lead, arsenic, antimony, etc.) [8] presumably due to the comparatively low solubility of bismuth salts. [108] Its biological half-life for whole-body retention is reported to be 5 days but it can remain in the kidney for years in people treated with bismuth compounds. [109]

Bismuth poisoning can occur and has according to some reports been common in relatively recent times. [108] [110] As with lead, bismuth poisoning can result in the formation of a black deposit on the gingiva, known as a bismuth line. [111] [112] [113] Poisoning may be treated with dimercaprol; however, evidence for benefit is unclear. [114] [115]

Bismuth's environmental impacts are not well known; it may be less likely to bioaccumulate than some other heavy metals, and this is an area of active research. [116] [117]

See also

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A metalloid is a type of chemical element which has a preponderance of properties in between, or that are a mixture of, those of metals and nonmetals. There is no standard definition of a metalloid and no complete agreement on which elements are metalloids. Despite the lack of specificity, the term remains in use in the literature of chemistry.

A period 5 element is one of the chemical elements in the fifth row of the periodic table of the chemical elements. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behaviour of the elements as their atomic number increases: a new row is begun when chemical behaviour begins to repeat, meaning that elements with similar behaviour fall into the same vertical columns. The fifth period contains 18 elements, beginning with rubidium and ending with xenon. As a rule, period 5 elements fill their 5s shells first, then their 4d, and 5p shells, in that order; however, there are exceptions, such as rhodium.

A period 6 element is one of the chemical elements in the sixth row (or period) of the periodic table of the chemical elements, including the lanthanides. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behaviour of the elements as their atomic number increases: a new row is begun when chemical behaviour begins to repeat, meaning that elements with similar behaviour fall into the same vertical columns. The sixth period contains 32 elements, tied for the most with period 7, beginning with caesium and ending with radon. Lead is currently the last stable element; all subsequent elements are radioactive. For bismuth, however, its only primordial isotope, 209Bi, has a half-life of more than 1019 years, over a billion times longer than the current age of the universe. As a rule, period 6 elements fill their 6s shells first, then their 4f, 5d, and 6p shells, in that order; however, there are exceptions, such as gold.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pnictogen</span> Group 15 elements of the periodic table with valency 5

A pnictogen is any of the chemical elements in group 15 of the periodic table. Group 15 is also known as the nitrogen group or nitrogen family. Group 15 consists of the elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), bismuth (Bi), and moscovium (Mc).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dimercaprol</span> Chemical compound

Dimercaprol, also called British anti-Lewisite (BAL), is a medication used to treat acute poisoning by arsenic, mercury, gold, and lead. It may also be used for antimony, thallium, or bismuth poisoning, although the evidence for those uses is not very strong. It is given by injection into a muscle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oligodynamic effect</span> Toxic effect of metal ions on living cells

The oligodynamic effect is a biocidal effect of metals, especially heavy metals, that occurs even in low concentrations. This effect is attributed to the antibacterial behavior of metal ions, which are absorbed by bacteria upon contact and damage their cell membranes.

Trimethylarsine (abbreviated TMA or TMAs) is the chemical compound with the formula (CH3)3As, commonly abbreviated AsMe3 or TMAs. This organic derivative of arsine has been used as a source of arsenic in microelectronics industry, a building block to other organoarsenic compounds, and serves as a ligand in coordination chemistry. It has distinct "garlic"-like smell. Trimethylarsine had been discovered as early as 1854.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metal toxicity</span> Harmful effects of certain metals

Metal toxicity or metal poisoning is the toxic effect of certain metals in certain forms and doses on life. Some metals are toxic when they form poisonous soluble compounds. Certain metals have no biological role, i.e. are not essential minerals, or are toxic when in a certain form. In the case of lead, any measurable amount may have negative health effects. It is often thought that only heavy metals can be toxic, but lighter metals such as beryllium and lithium may also be in certain circumstances. Not all heavy metals are particularly toxic, and some are essential, such as iron. The definition may also include trace elements when abnormally high doses may be toxic. An option for treatment of metal poisoning may be chelation therapy, a technique involving the administration of chelation agents to remove metals from the body.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth oxynitrate</span> Chemical compound

Bismuth oxynitrate is the name applied to a number of compounds that contain Bi3+, nitrate ions and oxide ions and which can be considered as compounds formed from Bi2O3, N2O5 and H2O. Other names for bismuth oxynitrate include bismuth subnitrate and bismuthyl nitrate. In older texts bismuth oxynitrate is often simply described as BiONO3 or basic bismuth nitrate. Bismuth oxynitrate was once called magisterium bismuti or bismutum subnitricum, and was used as a white pigment, in beauty care, and as a gentle disinfectant for internal and external use. It is also used to form Dragendorff's reagent, which is used as a TLC stain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Post-transition metal</span> Category of metallic elements

The metallic elements in the periodic table located between the transition metals to their left and the chemically weak nonmetallic metalloids to their right have received many names in the literature, such as post-transition metals, poor metals, other metals, p-block metals and chemically weak metals. The most common name, post-transition metals, is generally used in this article.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solder alloys</span>

Solder is a metallic material that is used to connect metal workpieces. The choice of specific solder alloys depends on their melting point, chemical reactivity, mechanical properties, toxicity, and other properties. Hence a wide range of solder alloys exist, and only major ones are listed below. Since early 2000s the use of lead in solder alloys is discouraged by several governmental guidelines in the European Union, Japan and other countries, such as Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arsenic compounds</span> Chemical compounds containing arsenic

Compounds of arsenic resemble in some respects those of phosphorus which occupies the same group (column) of the periodic table. The most common oxidation states for arsenic are: −3 in the arsenides, which are alloy-like intermetallic compounds, +3 in the arsenites, and +5 in the arsenates and most organoarsenic compounds. Arsenic also bonds readily to itself as seen in the square As3−
ions in the mineral skutterudite. In the +3 oxidation state, arsenic is typically pyramidal owing to the influence of the lone pair of electrons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth compounds</span>

Bismuth forms mainly trivalent and a few pentavalent compounds. Many of its chemical properties are similar to those of arsenic and antimony, although much less toxic.


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PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain : Brown, R. D., Jr. "Annual Average Bismuth Price", USGS (1998)