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Why is sulfur dangerous?

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Quick Answer

Sulfur is a chemical element that is dangerous because it poses a threat on multiple levels: it is flammable, corrosive, and damaging to the health of anything that breathes it in. Sulfur can cause damage not only to individual organisms, but also can be dangerous on an environmental level if it is dissipated across certain areas.

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Full Answer

Sulfur is a yellow, odorless, non-metallic element. When it reacts with oxygen, sulfur forms sulfur oxide. This is a dangerous substance that can cause damage to the eyes, nose and lungs. People who have inhaled sulfur oxide often begin coughing and have difficulty breathing. In high concentrations, exposure to sulfur can even result in burns on the skin.

Additionally, sulfur oxide is flammable. When ignited, it can trigger an explosion. Electricity or even fumes can be enough to set off dust particles of sulfur oxide in the air and cause a large explosion or fire. According to the Clean County Coalition, sulfur can also cause damage on an environmental level. Sulfur oxide, when allowed to enter its gaseous form, can cause damage to the cardiovascular health of the animals that are exposed to it. Sulfur oxide, when inhaled, also poses a threat to an animal's kidneys and enzymes.

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