Element Factfile: Arsenic

Today's element

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Out now, the book follows Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch- who is an element-hunter! He’s decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table, which has some rather destructive results in his bedroom!

However, when he discovers a brand new element, never seen before, he ends up with unwanted attention and a lot of danger.

Itch is written by Simon Mayo and published by Random House – out now.

So you can become an element hunter too, we’ve put together fact files on some key elements you’ll want to catch!

Today’s is… Arsenic
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Here’s what Itch has got to say:

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arsenicWatch out, this is arsenic – a very poisonous element. Often used to make rat poison and insecticides, it’s certainly not something you’d want to find in your food!

Although that didn’t stop people in Victorian times! Women used to mix a tiny amount with vinegar and chalk then eat it to improve their complexion!

Although arsenic compounds were mined by the early Chinese, Greek and Egyptian civilizations, it is believed that arsenic itself was first identified by Albertus Magnus, a German alchemist, in 1250 – let’s hope he didn’t try tasting it!

Check out all the elements: