Potassium

Source: Occurs naturally in rocks, minerals, and soil. It is a highly reactive element that forms compounds that are used in fertilizers, soaps and detergents, fireworks, and respiratory equipment. It is also found naturally in bananas and it is an essential nutrient, so it may be used in place of sodium in table salt.

Summary: Potassium is element 19 on the periodic table. It is a member of the alkali metals and has a density of 0.856 g/mL. It is one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust and is found in rocks, soil, and minerals. It is highly reactive and forms many important compounds. Potassium hydroxide (known as potash or lye) is used in the production of soaps and detergents, potassium chloride and potassium nitrate are used in fertilizers and fireworks, and potassium superoxide is used in respiratory equipment. There are many other important compounds containing potassium. Potassium is an essential nutrient and has been used in place of sodium in table salt for dietary purposes. Potassium has a radioactive isotope, potassium-40 that forms in small amounts in bananas, which are excellent sources of potassium. Reactions with pure potassium and water are highly explosive and flammable.

GHS Hazard Statement: H260, H314, H315, H318, H319, H335, GHS02, GHS05, GHS07