Is Phosphorus a Metal?

Phosphorous is not a metal. It is a highly reactive poisonous element that comes in three allotropic forms: white, red and black. It can be found naturally in phosphates, such as apatite.

White phosphorous is man-made for industrial use. It glows in the dark and combusts when it is exposed to air. White phosphorous can also look yellowish, but retains the same properties. Red phosphorous can also vary in color, ranging from orange to purple. Black phosphorous is manufactured for use in the creation of safety matches, incendiary shells, fertilizers and pyrotechnics. Black phosphorous is also widely used to prevent corrosion of metal surfaces.