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Hi, I m arsenic. You probably shouldn t come too close, I m told that I can be extremely lethal when taken in certain quantities. If you were to ask, I probably wouldn t be able to tell you why, but I ll try. My past has always been a mystery to me. I ve lived all over the place, never in just one spot. I have so many things that I can do, for instance when you mix in a small amount of me with copper, the copper does not soften under excessive heat. The downside to this, however, is that the copper is no longer able to conduct electricity as well as it had before. Of course they also slipped me in to the food and drink of the people that they needed dead for one reason or another. I was even given the title The King of Poisons by some. They would search for me in Antimony mines, and around the minerals Realgar and Orpiment. Finally Albertus Magna brought me out into society in 1250 and gave me a name, they called me Arsenic from the greek word Arsenikon meaning masculinity. He is the main reason that I became acknowledged as an element, as As. They gave me a number, 33, they called it my atomic number, then they gave me a group, group 15, and the period 4, I became a Pnictogen. I share the name Pnictogen with Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Antimony, and Bismuth. We all share the same amount of valence electrons, yet almost everything else about us is different. My atomic mass is 74.9216. I have a couple of common oxidation states -3, +3, +5, they keep me stable when I m feeling unstable. My density is 5.780 g/cm3, I guess I am not really that dense, that s really nice to know. I like to stay a solid, it s my STP state, it s another of those things that keep me stable. I like to think that my color is nice, but then that s just me. I m a metallic gray, or a light yellow. When you stick me in the sun my color goes black and my density doubles. It s a chemical reaction that I have. The sun s rays just touch my chemical make-up, if you know what I mean. As the years passed and new elements came to the table, more jobs, little things that I could help the world do started popping up. I was used in insecticides, and helped keep pressured wood from rotting. I am even being used for medicinal purposes; I helped to cure treponema, a parasite that causes syphilis, before penicillin was even discovered. I get used in lasers, micro processing chips, and in mirrors. They even used me to create an emerald colored paint, a truly gorgeous color. Though I was helpful, I also killed quite a few people, including Napoleon Bonaparte, and King George the Third. I made the news for being in playgrounds where children play. You can look it up on the U.S. News and World Report website on the internet.
By Bethany O Hara