The earth is the real treasure. Where can we expect potential poisoning?
There are several minerals that are not only toxic, but also potentially dangerous. That is why it is worth talking about the most dangerous natural minerals on the planet.
Chalcanthite. This mineral has beautiful and attractive blue crystals. They are composed of copper, which combines with sulfur, water, and other elements. This mixture is getting dangerous. There is nothing wrong with copper, but in excess quantities it becomes toxic. The crystal itself is biologically active - it dissolves easily in water, and then copper in large quantities can be absorbed by an animal or plant. As a result, living beings will quickly weaken, important organs of life will begin to fail, and death will occur. Those wishing to touch the secrets of minerals should never try chalcanthite for salt content, because this can lead to a serious overdose of copper. Even the simple extraction of beautiful blue crystals immediately killed all the algae in the whole pond. Chalcanthite can cause serious environmental problems. True, the beauty and rarity of the mineral has led to the fact that within the framework of geological communities they even grow artificial crystals for sale, passing them off as real ones.
Coloradoite. This crystalline mineral has become known relatively recently. It comes across in veins of magma. Coloradoite is a compound of mercury telluride that is formed when this liquid metal is fused with tellurium, another highly poisonous and rare metal. That is why coloradoite immediately poses a double poisonous threat to any daredevil who takes this mineral in his hands. The friendship of two dangerous elements rewards a person with the risk of poisoning if the mineral is handled carelessly. If it is heated or chemically treated, coloradoite can start to emit very dangerous dust and steam. It is interesting that a person extracts a mineral for the tellurium it contains. Tellurium minerals can also accompany gold, but previously such combinations were simply not known. It was destiny that the deposits of the poisonous mineral were developed during the unusual gold rush in Australia. People covered potholes in the road with tellurium stones and gold, then only realizing that the treasures were literally under their feet.
Hutchinsonite. Lead has a dark twin, thallium. This fat and dense metal is close to lead in its atomic mass, but much more dangerous. Thallium is a rare element that can be found in toxic compounds, which are a bizarre combination of substances. Even the effects of thallium are very strange. This is hair loss and diseases from just contact with the skin. As a result, thallium is a deadly metal. And the mineral gutchinsonite is an unusual but poisonous cross between thallium, arsenic and lead. These three dangerous ingredients make a deadly cocktail that must be handled with extreme caution. The mineral received its name in honor of John Hutchinson, the famous Cambridge mineralogist. And you can find gutchinsonite in the mountains of Europe, in various ore deposits.
Galena. This mineral is the main ore for lead production. Galena are gleaming silver cubes that are oddly perfect in shape. Lead itself is generally very flexible. But thanks to the sulfur in galena, the metal becomes brittle and accessible for chemical processing. For those people who worked with galena without observing safety measures, the mineral can give serious diseases. So, working with samples is fraught with dust inhalation. Workers in mines, on the other hand, have an increased risk of poisoning from galena, because a lot of dangerous dust is generated during mining. And after the extraction of lead from their mineral, during cleaning and processing, the metal is an ecological bomb. Interestingly, galena has a cubic fracture process. So after hitting it with a hammer, several smaller copies of the original shape are formed.
Asbestos. Asbestos is not at all a man-made material. Moreover, it is one of the scariest minerals on the planet. Its other "brothers" usually appear as toxins due to their chemical composition. Poisoning of victims occurs by accident, but asbestos literally attacks the lungs of a person, producing a mechanical accident there. This mineral is completely natural and is based on silicon dioxide (the most abundant solid mineral on the planet), iron, sodium and oxygen. Deposits of this substance are a mass of filamentary tiny crystals that easily spread through the air. Accordingly, asbestos particles can also easily get into the human lungs. Crystals irritate lung tissue, causing carcinogenic effects. This results in scars. And asbestos formations can be found in any set of silica rocks. That is why any research should be combined with safety measures. And the spread of asbestos in the planet's atmosphere is facilitated by such a natural process as natural weathering. As a result, many people, without knowing it, carry a little asbestos in their lungs.
Arsenopyrite. This mineral belongs to fools' gold, but there is an important difference. Anyone who confuses arsenopyrite with gold is not just a fool. An even more misguided step would be to touch this mineral and then use your hands to cook and eat food. Arsenopyrite is a mixture of arsenic and iron sulfide. The mineral is of the same type as pyrite, iron sulfide, the same fool's gold. The only difference is that heavy arsenic additions are also present. If you try to change the mineral or heat it, it will give a strong garlic smell. It smells like arsenic and toxic, corrosive and carcinogenic fumes from arsenopyrite. The processing of the same mineral can entail human contact with unstable sulfur salts of arsenic. And you can identify this mineral by simply hitting it with a hammer. As soon as sparks fly, and soon the smell of garlic appears for a short time, you can understand that you have a dangerous arsenopyrite in front of you.
Thorburnith. This mineral can generally be called hellish. Green crystals are prismatic and are born as secondary deposits in granite rocks. The torburnite contains uranium. It participates in a complex reaction with copper, phosphorus and water. Beautiful crystals accumulate so beautifully that they literally attract collectors to themselves. That is why people often took them for their home collections. And copper from beautiful stones slowly exudes the deadly gas radon, leading to lung cancer. So it is better not to approach this mineral, leaving it alone. Thornburnite can also be found in granite, which is why a regular stone countertop can have traces of a dangerous mineral. But thanks to the accumulations of bright green crystals, the prospectors understand when uranium deposits are nearby.
Stibnite. The composition of the mineral is antimony sulfide, but it looks like silver. That is why huge and shiny metal crystals of an unstable compound were used to cast beautiful dishes. Only now the crystal in the form of a sword became fatal to all those who used them. Stibnite interspersed with antimony killed many people before it became known that beautiful dishes lead to terrible food poisoning. Even if samples of a mineral are collected only for collection, they must be handled with great care. Otherwise, poisoning will be inevitable. Any contact with stibnite involves subsequent hand washing. The best crystals of the mineral are found in mines near the Japanese Osaka, particles grow up to 30 centimeters in length. Most of the samples of dangerous stone look like miniature spiers in appearance.
Auripigment. This stone has surpassed the notoriety of arsenic, because it consists not only of it, but also of sulfur. Orpiment crystals are reactive and deadly. They grow underground in the form of mineral formations. You can usually find a stone near hydrothermal vents. The mineral has rather seductive colors, but if you just pick it up, it will release a carcinogenic and neurotoxic powder - arsenic. The Chinese have learned to use this mineral, using it extensively in a similar way to cinnabar. Only the consequences of the oripigment were much more serious. The stones were pounded, and then arrows were dropped into the powder. They produced a poisonous effect, so the stone was used in a very unusual way - there was no need to throw it. The orpiment is known for giving off a strong garlic odor. This is due to the high content of arsenic. The mineral can turn into a dangerous powder even when exposed to light. Mineral has long been the main component for creating ocher paint, no doubt, many artists who used it ended up being poisoned.
Cinnabar. In composition, it is mercury sulfide. The mineral is the most toxic that exists on Earth and is processed. Its very name translates as "dragon's blood". Cinnabar ore is the main source for the mining of mercury. Bright red crystals appear near volcanoes and sulfur deposits. They signal great danger. When heated or processed, the mineral gives off pure mercury. The person standing next to him may start to experience seizures, lose sensitivity, and even die. During the Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century, being sent to work in Spanish mines with cinnabar was considered a kind of death sentence. In China, beautiful dishes for food were created from cinnabar, and various unusual carvings were made from pieces of mineral. Craftsmen often paid with their lives for such beauty. It seems incredible today that some ancient doctors believed that cinnabar had healing properties. This mineral has even been prescribed to treat certain conditions.