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Polonium as a chemical element

Polonius was one of the first discovered radioactive elements, discovered by Pierre Curie and Maria Skłodowska-Curie in 1898. It got its name in honor of Poland - the birthplace of Maria Skłodowska-Curie. For the first time, polonium was isolated from uranium resin ore.
Polonium is a rare element; two of its crystalline modifications are known: a low-temperature form with a cubic lattice, at a temperature above 36 ° C, a stable form with a rhombohedral lattice is stable.
Polonium is present in small quantities in seawater; various marine organisms can accumulate it. This element enters the human body along with food, after which it is evenly distributed to individual organs.
In high concentrations, polonium is extremely toxic, and special boxes are used to work with it. Polonium toxicity was studied in animal experiments, it caused changes in the composition of peripheral blood and shortened life expectancy. Animals developed tumors of various organs.The biological effects of polonium at low concentrations are not well understood.
In terms of its chemical properties, polonium is close to tellurium; in compounds, this element exhibits oxidation states of -2, +2, +4, and +6. Polonium is oxidized in air; it reacts with acid solutions to form ions. When reacting with hydrogen, this element gives a volatile hydride.
Heating metals with polonium vapors at a temperature of 400-1000 ° C, get polonides. Polonium dioxide can exist in two crystalline modifications: at temperatures below 54 ° C, a stable yellow form with a face-centered cubic lattice, when heated, the dioxide turns into a red form with a tetragonal lattice. Polonium monoxide is a black solid, it is formed by the spontaneous decomposition of selenite or polonium sulfite.
In gram quantities, polonium is obtained by irradiating metallic bismuth with neutrons; the process takes place in nuclear reactors. In microscopic quantities, it can be isolated from waste from the processing of uranium ores. It is obtained by extraction, electrodeposition, sublimation and ion exchange.Polonium is also formed when bismuth is irradiated by protons in a cyclotron.
Polonium is used as an energy source in atomic batteries of spacecraft, as well as in portable devices. It is used for the manufacture of ampoule sources of neutrons.

Video: Most lethal chemical element

Polonium Uses & Properties | Where Polonium is found | Polonium Po Element Facts
Polonium as a chemical element

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