Friday, January 21, 2022

Deadly rocks and minerals

Arsenopyrite is arsenic iron sulfide, which is the same type of mineral as pyrite (fool’s gold, iron sulfide), but with a heavy addition of arsenic.

If one attempts to heat or in any way alter the mineral, a strong garlic odor of arsenic will be produced as lethally toxic, corrosive and carcinogenic vapors are released.
Torbernite prism shaped green crystals form as secondary deposits in granitic rocks, and are composed of uranium. It is formed through a complex reaction between phosphorous, copper, water and uranium.

Radon gas is slowly released from uranium decay.
Stibnite is antimony sulfide. The shining metallic crystals of this unstable compound were once fashioned into magnificent eating utensils.

Stibnite’s antimony laced crystals killed a number of people before it became known that use of the mineral was causing food poisoning of the worst kind.
Orpiment crystals are found growing below the surface in mineral formations, often near hydrothermal vents. The crystals release carcinogenic, neurotoxic arsenic powder.

Orpiment is known to give off a strong garlic smell due to its arsenic content, and may crumble into dangerous powder when exposed to light. The mineral was used as a primary component of ochre paint, and likely poisoned many of the artists who used it.
Cinnabar (mercury sulfide) is the single most toxic mineral to handle on Earth.

The name of the crystal means dragons blood, and it is the main ore of mercury. Forming near volcanos and sulfur deposits, the bright red crystals may release pure mercury if disturbed or heated, causing tremors, loss of sensation and death.