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History(Gr. bromos, stench) Discovered by Antoine J. Balard of France
in 1826, but not prepared in quantity until 1860.
SourcesA member of the halogen group of elements, it is obtained from
natural brines from wells in Michigan and Arkansas.
Little bromine is
extracted today from seawater, which contains only about 85 ppm.
- Bromine is the only liquid nonmetallic element.
- It is a heavy, mobile, reddish-brown liquid, volatilizing readily at room
temperature to a red vapor with a strong disagreeable odor, resembling chlorine,
and having a very irritating effect on the eyes and throat
- It is readily soluble in water or carbon disulfide, forming a red solution,
is less active than chlorine but more so than iodine
- It unites readily with many elements and has a bleaching action; when
spilled on the skin it produces painful sores.
HandlingIt presents a serious health hazard, and maximum safety
precautionss should be taken when handling it.
UsesMuch of the bromine output in the U.S. was used in the production
of ethylene dibromide, a lead scavenger used in making gasoline antiknock
compounds. Lead in gasoline, however, has been drastically reduced, due to
environmental considerations. This will greatly affect future production of
Bromine is also used in making fumigants, flameproofing agents,
water purification compounds, dyes, medicinals, sanitizers, inorganic bromides
for photography, etc.
Organic bromides are also important.