Iridium - Ir
Iridium is a hard, brittle, lustrous, dense, transition metal of the platinum family. It is silvery-white and it is notable for being the most corrosion resistant element known. It is unaffected by air, water and acids.
Nowadays demand for iridium comes mainly from the electronic industry, the automotive industry and from the chemical industry, where it is used to coat the electrodes in the chlor-alkali process, and in catalyst.
Iridium in the environment
The level of iridium in land plants is below 20 ppb. Iridium is found as uncombined element, and also as the iridium-osmium alloys osmiridium and idrosmine. Most of the iridium comes from South Africa. Annual world production amounts to around 3 tonnes. Reserves have not been estimated.
Potential health effects: Eye: may cause eye irritation. Skin: low hazard for usual industrial handling. Ingestion: may cause irritation of the digestive tract. Expected to be a low ingestion hazard. Inhalation: low hazard for usual industrial handling.
Do not allow product to reach ground water, water bodies or sewage system.