Bromine is used in everyday products such as pesticides and water treatment solutions. Bromine is a reddish-brown gas that has a pungent smell and can irritate the skin, nose and eyes. Bromine was discovered in 1826 by A.J. Balard.
Most pesticide agents contain bromine because it is toxic when inhaled. Bromine compounds work as soil fumigants to prevent insects from attacking plants.
Flame-retardant plastics often contain bromine. Brominated flame retardants are used in televisions, computers, domestic appliances, mobile phones, furniture, upholstery and mattresses.
Bromine is also used to purify water, as the agent acts as a disinfectant. Bromine is often used to treat swimming pools and hot tubs. Moreover, bromine compounds control algae and bacterial population growths.
Photography film is developed using bromine agents, which allow the photographs to develop sufficient light levels.
Several over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs contain bromine compounds. For example, most antihistamines, sedatives and analgesics contain bromine. Several drugs used to treat cocaine addiction and pneumonia contain active bromine ingredients. New studies show the effectiveness of bromine-containing drugs used to treat AIDS, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
The car industry is beginning to use bromine compounds for electric car batteries. The batteries are designed to produce zero emissions.