Aluminum - Al
The name aluminum is derived from the ancient name for alum (potassium aluminum sulphate), which was alumen (Latin, meaning bitter salt). Aluminum was the original name given to the element by Humphry Davy but others called it aluminum and that became the accepted name in Europe. However, in the USA the preferred name was aluminum and when the American Chemical Society debated on the issue, in 1925, it decided to stick with aluminum.
Aluminum has only one naturally occurring isotope, aluminium-27, which is not radioactive.
A silvery and ductile member of the poor metal group of elements, aluminum is found primarily as the ore bauxite and is remarkable for its resistance to oxidation (aluminum is actually almost always already oxidized, but is usable in this form unlike most metals), its strength, and its light weight. Aluminum is used in many industries to make millions of different products and is very important to the world economy. Structural components made from aluminum are vital to the aerospace industry and very important in other areas of transportation and building in which light weight, durability, and strength are needed.
Aluminum in the environment
Aluminum is an abundant element in Earth's crust: it is believed to be contained in a percentage from 7.5% to 8.1%. Aluminum is very rare in its free form. Aluminum contribute greatly to the properties of soil, where it is present mainly as insoluble aluminum hydroxide.
Aluminum is one of the most widely used metals and also one of the most frequently found compounds in the earth's crust. Due to these facts, aluminum is commonly known as an innocent compound. But still, when one is exposed to high concentrations, it can cause health problems. The water-soluble form of aluminum causes the harmful effects, these particles are called ions. They are usually found in a solution of aluminum in combination with other ions, for instance as aluminum chlorine.
Inhalation of finely divided aluminum and aluminum oxide powder has been reported as a cause of pulmonary fibrosis and lung damage. This effect, know as Shaver’s Disease, is complicated by the presence in the inhaled air of silica and oxides of iron. May also be implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
The effects of aluminum have drawn our attention, mainly due to the acidifying problems. Aluminum may accumulate in plants and cause health problems for animals that consume these plants.
We cab tell you more about the behaviour of aluminum in water
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