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Uses of iodine

Iodine Iodine is a non-metallic chemical element and belongs to the halogens, and among these, which are located in group 7 of the periodic table, it is the one with the greatest weight. The uses of iodine are also essential in the world of medicine and health. It has a shiny black color, is solid and volatile.

Iodine is represented by the symbol I and its atomic number is 53. It received this name because it emits a vapor of violet color.

This element was discovered in 1811 in the ashes of seaweed by the chemist of French origin and also responsible for the manufacture of saltpeter Bernard Courtois. While the name was given by Gay Lussac in 1814. This element can combine directly with almost all elements except carbon, some noble metals, noble gases and nitrogen.

This element is however found in abundance, rarely in a high level of concentration and not in its elemental form. Although iodine has a low concentration in seawater, some species of algae find it possible to extract and accumulate it. In countries like Chile, calcium iodate is found in caliche mantles, and in other places like Japan, California, and Michigan, it can appear as iodide ion in wells.

The uses of iodine

  • Uses Of Iodine In small amounts, it is essential for plant and animal life.
  • It is used in most products used to sterilize the human body. Its compounds have bacterial properties that help treat wounds and sterilize drinking water in its liquid or tablet form.
  • Compounds of this element are used for the treatment of the thyroid and heart, as a dietary supplement.
  • It is also used in contrast media, often used in x-rays.
  • It is used to treat bacterial infections such as conjunctivitis. Atomic iodine solution helps the body fight them.
  • Iodine is also used to reduce vaginal discharge and irritation.
  • Potassium iodide is used to reduce the buildup of radioactive substances in the thyroid, helping people who have been exposed to radiation.
  • It is also a very powerful antioxidant for the blood.
  • It is possible to relieve a cough with an iodine tonic by gargling with it. Additionally, it is used as an expectorant in case a person has flu infections.
  • The use of iodine is also useful in the nutrition of human beings to prevent diseases such as mental retardation, thyroid dysfunction and abnormal growth of fetuses during their development.
  • At the industrial level, biocides based on this element are used for the treatment of wood, for fluids in metallurgy, paints and glues.
  • Iodine is widely used in pharmaceuticals in antiseptics and to catalyze or reactivate various ingredients used in the manufacture of cardiovascular drugs and corticosteroids.

Effects of iodine on health

Iodine is found naturally in soil, water and air, with the most important sources being the oceans. It is found in some marine fish and is also stored in the tissues of some ocean plants. It can be added to any salt. It is used as an ingredient for foods such as bread, sea plants and sea fish.

For thyroid hormones to be used, iodine provides a building material, making it an essential element for their development. It also helps with metabolism and the nervous system. When a person consumes bread in very small quantities or not at all, he will have a lack of iodine in his body.

However, taken in excess, all iodine compounds are toxic. Consuming it excessively can represent a danger, since the thyroid gland would have more work than usual, which would affect the whole organism and could lead to weight loss and tachycardia. All iodides are toxic if taken in excess.

Video: Uses and Health Benefits of Iodine

Effects of iodine use on the environment

Various human activities add iodine to the atmosphere, such as burning coal and fuels for electricity generation. Iodine-131 is one of its radioactive forms, which could harm the environment, as its lifespan is around millions of years. It is exposed in the environment through accidents that occur in nuclear power plants.

In the soil, iodine is combined with organic matter where it lasts for a long time, then it is taken up by the plants growing in these spaces and is then consumed by animals which ingest it for food.

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Electron Configuration - Uses of iodine. [Internet]. [Accessed April 29, 2022]. Available from:
"Uses of iodine." Electron Configuration - Accessed April 29, 2022.
"Uses of iodine." Electron Configuration [Online]. Available: [Accessed: April 29, 2022]
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