In our quest to learn more about this world that we live in, we often forget about potentially lethal elements. This means that alongside pretty gemstones, there are dangerous rocks and toxic minerals that could poison you before you know it.
Cinnabar, scientific name Mercury Sulfide, is the first toxic mineral on our list. The literal meaning of the toxic minerals name is dragon’s blood owing to the bright red crystal format it appears in near volcanos. This pretty looking mineral can cause tremors, deprive men of sensation and lead to death if disturbed or heated.
While some toxic minerals were discovered only recently, toxic minerals like Orpiment were discovered ages ago. The Chinese had realized that upon coming in contact with human skin, Orpiment crystals release neurotoxic and carcinogenic arsenic powder. They would coat their arrows’ tips with this toxic mineral and launch the arrows at their enemies.
Stibnite is the toxic mineral composed of metallic crystals that look and shine like silver. It was used to create eating utensils and weapons. Made up of antimony sulfide, Stibnite causes food poisoning. This fatal trait was discovered after a considerable number of lives were lost.
One of the deadliest and most toxic minerals is appearing as prism-shaped green crystals on granitic rocks, Torbernite is made of uranium. This toxic mineral is formed because of the reaction between uranium, copper, water and phosphorous. If you should actively avoid any toxic minerals, it’s this one because Torbernite can cause lung cancer and various genetic deformities.
Arsenopyrite is one of the most toxic minerals because of its deceptive appearance. Arsenopyrite looks like gold. Which means that any amateur hiker can accidentally pick it up and ingest the chemicals. This composition of arsenic iron sulfide has more arsenic which produces carcinogenic and lethal vapors.
Some toxic minerals may affect your body externally. But Asbestos is capable of compromising the internal working of human lungs. Made up of iron, oxygen, and sodium, Asbestos is in actuality minute, fibrous airborne crystals that you may end up inhaling and hence, depositing in your lungs.
Another one of the silver toxic minerals, Galena is the natural mineral form of lead (II) sulfide and is also known as a lead glance. Because of the presence of sulfur, Galena is extremely brittle and prone to reactions to chemical treatments. As a result, miners, workers, and amateur researchers are at a high risk of poisoning.
Exposure to Thallium can lead to illnesses ranging from hair loss to death. Now imagine this metal combined with lead and arsenic. Hutchinsonite is the toxic mineral that is formed and generally found in Europe’s mountainous regions.
Copper and water are some of the elements that are beneficial for our body in small quantities. But combine these with sulfur and few other elements, it forms Chalcanthite. Chalcanthite crystals can wipe out complete ponds of algae.
Recently discovered Coloradoite is a compound of mercury telluride. The toxicity levels are high owing to the base elements. If Coloradoite is chemically altered or heated, it will release dust and vapor that is deadly.