Benefits and risks of halogens

There aren't any risks on the iodine card, this is deliberate as the risks of iodine needn't be learnt.

Unit F332. Elements from the Sea.

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Fluorine

Benefits:

  • Used to make plastics, e.g. PTFE
  • Added to toothpaste to strength tooth enamel
  • Used to make HCFCs (hydrochloroflurocarbons)

Risks:

  • Fluorine is highly reactive
  • Handling of fluorine must be kept to a minimum
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Chlorine

Benefits:

  • Important intermediate in the manufacture of hydrochloric acid and chlorinated solvents
  • Used to make plastics, e.g. PVC and polyurethanes
  • Used in water treatment
  • Used to make pesticides, medicines and bleach

Risks:

  • Pesticides can accumulate in the environment
  • CFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere
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Bromine

Benefits:

  • Used to make flame retardants
  • Used to make agricultural fumigants
  • Used in photography (not as widely used nowadays)

Risks:

  • Oragnic bromine compounds can destroy ozone in the stratosphere
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Iodine

Benefits:

  • Used in antiseptics
  • Used in germicides
  • Used in dyes
  • Iodine-131 is used to diagnose thyroid disease
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