Q:

What are the uses of iodine?

A:

Quick Answer

According to WebMD, iodine is commonly used to prevent iodine deficiency and disinfect wounds. It can also be used to protect against radiation, treat ulcers and purify water.

Continue Reading
What are the uses of iodine?
Credit: Medic Image Universal Images Group Getty Images

Full Answer

Iodine is a chemical element found in seawater and some minerals and soils. The body needs iodine but cannot make it. Iodine must be introduced to the body through the diet. Most commercially available iodine is created by processing brine. About 70 to 80 percent of the iodine in the body is located in the thyroid gland. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland to make hormones. Lack of iodine creates an enlarged thyroid gland and a swollen neck and results in hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is indicated by fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and sensitivity to temperature changes. Iodine deficiency is more common in women than men.

Bernard Courtois discovered iodine in 1811 while trying to extract potassium from seaweed. After extracting the potassium from seaweed, he added sulfuric acid to the remaining liquid. The purple crystals resulting from this procedure helped give this element its name. The Greek word iodes means violet.

Iodine is slightly toxic and can be dangerous in large amounts. Pure iodine is a skin irritant, and the vapor is known to cause eye irritation.

Learn more about Chemistry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is tincture of iodine used for?

    A:

    Walgreen's Pharmacy indicates that tincture of iodine is a topical medication used to prevent infection in minor scrapes, cuts and burns. Iodine tincture should not be used on animal bites or over large areas of the body. Iodine tincture helps to treat minor injuries when applied one to three times daily to the affected area.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does iodine look like?

    A:

    Solid iodine consists of shiny bluish-black crystals, but iodine vapors are a purple gas. Iodine is named after the appearance of the iodine vapors, as "iodes" is the Greek word for purple.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What family does iodine belong to?

    A:

    On the periodic table, iodine belongs to the V11A family or group 17, which contains the halogens. Groups and families are the vertical columns on this table. In the old system of naming families, scientists used Roman numerals. However, the new convention uses the term "groups" to identify these columns.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the indicator for starch?

    A:

    In a solution, iodine ions indicate the presence of starch by changing the color of the solution from yellow to intense blue. Iodine ions are typically added to a solution as potassium iodide.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore