Tin is a metal commonly used as a protective coating for materials susceptible to weathering. It is also used in the creation of metal alloys such as bronze and pewter.
Tin is derived from a mineral called cassiterite and has many different industrial applications. Tin comes in a white or gray form depending on the temperature. White tin is much more useful than gray tin and is commonly maintained through the addition of chemical elements such as bismuth or antimony. Metals and other surfaces that are prone to corrosion and other weathering are commonly coated with a layer of tin. Tin is naturally resistant to oxidation and helps prevent rust from forming on other metals, and it is often used to coat the surfaces of steel cans used for food storage. Alloys made from tin are used in varying applications, such as soldering and in magnets and superconductive wire. Tin is also used to help produce glass and weather-resistant coatings for windows and windshields. Tin oxide is used in gas sensors as its electrical conductivity rises when in contact with gas.
Tin is also used in products such as paint, plastics and pesticides. It may have harmful health effects if an individual is exposed to organic tin substances. Short-term effects may include dizziness, skin irritation and sickness, while more serious effects and exposure can lead to brain or liver damage.