What are facts about cobalt?
1) Cobalt compounds have been used for centuries to impart a rich blue color to glass, glazes, and ceramics.
2) Swedish chemist Georg Brandt (1694-1768) is credited with isolating cobalt in 1735. He was able to show that cobalt was the source of the blue color in glass, which previously had been attributed to the bismuth found with cobalt.
3) The word cobalt is derived from the German kobalt, from kobold meaning "goblin", a term used for the ore of cobalt by miners
4) Cobalt in small amounts is essential to many living organisms, including humans. Having 0.13 to 0.30 mg/kg of cobalt in soils markedly improves the health of grazing animals. Cobalt is a central component of the vitamin cobalamin, or vitamin B12.
5) Cobalt -60 (one of the isotopes of Co) is a high-energy gamma ray emitter. Acute high-dose exposures to the gamma emissions, such as can occur when irradiation equipment is inadvertently diverted into scrap, can cause severe burns and death. Extended exposures increase the risk of morbidity or mortality from cancer
6) The Cobalt -60, dispersed as nuclear fallout, creates what is sometimes called a dirty bomb or cobalt bomb, once predicted by physicist Leó Szilárd as being capable of wiping out all life on earth.