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For photographic film.
(Gr. bromos, stench) Discovered by Balard in 1826, but not prepared in quantity until
A 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. It presents a
serious health hazard, and maximum safety precautions should be taken when handling it.
Much 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.
Bromine is used in making fumigants, flameproofing agents, water purification
compounds, dyes, medicinals, sanitizers, inorganic bromides for photography, etc. Organic
bromides are also important.
Sources: CRC Handbook of Chemistry
and Physics and the American Chemical Society.
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