Fluorine was discovered in the 16th century, but it wasn’t actually isolated until the 19th century by a French chemist named Henri Moissan. It gets its name because of how it was used at first. Fluorine was added to molten metals so that they would flow easier.
1. It Goes Boom!
Fluorine is the most reactive element on the periodic table. That’s saying something, considering how reactive some elements are to the air, like potassium, which can catch on fire just because it’s exposed to a humid day.
2. It’s Found Everywhere
Everyone has Fluorine in their bodies. It can be found in plants, animals, and in every other living things. Plant tissues have it and humans can find it in their bloodstream and in their bones. Even though it is combustible, it thankfully isn’t responsible for spontaneous combustion when humans get a little hot. Just don’t get too much of it because it is toxic.
3. It Went Nuclear
Because of the explosive properties of Fluorine, it was used in the first atomic bomb. It is in the processed uranium that was used and was also part of many nuclear power programs that were developed around the same time.
4. You Won’t Stick To It
Fluorine is also one of the key components of the original non-stick surface called Teflon. This means you’ve got some Fluorine in the foods that you’re eating if you use the old Teflon pans. Just don’t eat up the Teflon too fast, however, because you’ll get sick if you do.
5. It Does What?
Fluorine is so reactive that it has the ability to extract oxygen out of water. It is also one of the few items that will react with a diamond.
6. It Is Rare and Common
Fluorine seems to be a rather rare element in the universe, but it isn’t very rare here at home. It’s the 13th most common element that can be found in the Earth’s crust. Consisting of 9 electrons and 8 protons, it’s the first element in the group of halogens.
7. Need a Cold One?
Fluorine is rarely found in its pure form. It’s used in gasses and alloys, which means it is used in many refrigerants. If you’ve heard of the CFCs that potentially damaged the ozone layer, then you’ve heard of Fluorine. Although CFCs were banned, Fluorine is still around and being used.
8. It’s a Friendly Element
When Fluorine combines with Carbon, it becomes the strongest bond that is known as of today in chemistry. It only has one stable isotope, however, but it can be bonded to other items as well. If you’re using fluoride, then you’re using Fluorine. That’s why some people avoid the use of it, even though it can prevent tooth decay.
9. Want Some Topaz?
One of the most common places to find Fluorine is within topaz. When it is in in an acidic form, however, it is extremely dangerous. With enough exposure, hydrofluoric acid is actually quite dangerous.
10. Fluoride Affects Many Tissues in Your Body
Fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can disrupt parts of your body to include the bones, brain, thyroid gland, and blood sugar levels. Exposure to fluoride is attributed to many health conditions to include bone disorders, thyroid disease, low intelligence, dementia, and diabetes.