Discovered by Sir William Crookes in 1861, it is a soft, heavy, inelastic metal, according to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the national public health agency of the United States.
Globally known as the ‘poisoner’s poison’, Thallium is tasteless and odorless and has been used by murderers as a difficult to detect poison.
Soluble compounds of Thallium are highly poisonous. When the bluish-white metal is exposed to air, it undergoes a transformation, turning from its original color to gray. When in contact with moist air or skin, the metal can convert into these harmful compounds. Thallium poisoning, which has the potential to be lethal, leads to the development of nervous and gastrointestinal disorders as well as rapid hair loss.
The CDC website mentions that Thallium was used historically as a rodenticide, but has since been banned in the United States due to its toxicity from accidental exposure. It is found in trace amounts in the earth’s crust.
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