Realgar mineral

Realgar mineral

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Realgar mineral. Realgar is an orange-red, arsenic sulphide mineral, from which a large proportion of the world's arsenic is derived. Realgar is highly poisonous and has been used throughout history as both a pigment and a medicine. In China realgar was used to make household ornaments, and charms to ward of disease. Other traditional uses include printing and dyeing calico, and tanning hides. Here, the realgar is in a spongy form, where the mineral contains numerous air gaps, giving it a sponge-like appearance and lower density.

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Keywords: arsenic, arsenic sulphide, charm, charms, chemical, chemistry, chinese ornaments, close-up, detail, dye, dyeing, earth science, fireworks, geological, geology, hides, historical, history, medical, medicine, mineral, mineralogy, orange, ore, pigment, pigments, poison, poisonous, print, printing, realgar, red explosive, sponge-like, spongy, sulphide, tanning, traditional medicine

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