What are the Properties of Iodine?

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  • Written By: Vasanth S.
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 11 February 2020
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There are several unique properties of iodine. Classified as a halogen, iodine has a non-metallic appearance that is dark gray and shining. It has a characteristic purple vapor, and it doesn't react well with other chemicals. It has antimicrobial properties which allow it to be used as a disinfectant. In addition, iodine is a necessary nutrient for good health.

Halogens are non-metal elements that include iodine, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and astatine. The reactive properties of iodine are quite small, making it the least reactive halogen. Despite this, iodine is able to form compounds with several elements.

Sublimation is the process for converting solid iodine into a gas without passing through the liquid state. In the case of iodine, the vapor that is produced has a purple color. The process was observed by Bernard Courtois in 1811.

The limited reactive properties of iodine also hinder its ability to dissolve in solution. It is poorly soluble in water, but is somewhat soluble in carbon tetrachloride. It appears to be more responsive to non-polar, organic solvents than polar solvents.

Iodine is usually found in the air, land, and water. The most abundant source is the ocean. Iodine is mined in parts of Chile, Colorado, and New Mexico. Deposits are usually found in saturated salt water or oil brine, which is salt water mixed with oil. Overall, the total yearly production of iodine is approximately 13,000 tons.


Iodine usually ends up in soil that is used to grow plants. In addition, cattle and other animals will consume these plants and have iodine in their system. Any iodine in the water supply will generally vaporize and enter the atmosphere. Burning coal and fuel also adds iodine to the atmosphere. The vast majority of the air borne iodine comes from the oceans.

The properties of iodine are used for a number of applications including as a dietary supplement and as a chemical in photography. As a supplement, iodine is usually added to salt since iodine isn't produced by the body. In the form of silver iodine, it is used to develop film. Other applications which utilize the properties of iodine include water purification, in which iodine tablets are used to neutralize bacteria in drinking water.

Many of the properties of iodine are used to improve health. Several types of skin cleansers utilize iodine to disinfect wounds. Also, iodine is required for good thyroid health. Without it, the thyroid gland will stop functioning and may become enlarged.


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Post 3

Keeping a bottle of iodine in your house is a good idea if you have kids that like to run around and occasionally injure themselves. The properties of iodine make it a really great disinfectant for cuts, though it does sting like crazy.

I remember when I was younger and my own mother would always have to chase me around so she could out the iodine on my cuts. I hated the yellowish-orange color of it, and how much it hurt.

My mother always told me though, that iodine was one of the best things for a cut. Either that, or alcohol, which I knew hurt a lot more.

Post 2

It has always fascinated me that that the properties of iodine can help the body to not store radiation in the thyroid. I remember when the incident at Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan first happened and I was over in South Korea. There was a huge run on people buying seaweed to help them fend of the possible fallout.

Iodine is plentiful in seaweed, but I don't know if it is really enough to fend off radiation poisoning if things ever get that bad. As far as I know, you have to actually take iodine tablets to get a big enough dose to really keep you safe.

Post 1

I first read about the use of iodine treatment for thyroid help on a forum site. There are some very active sites that can be very helpful for someone looking to find ways to use iodine to help with thyroid treatment.

When we were growing up my mom would use iodine on any kind of cut or scrape we got. I remember how much it would sting when she applied it.

We would also put some iodine in baby oil and rub on our skin hoping to get a great tan. When I think about that, I can't believe we did that, but that was the thing to do for a few years to get a good tan.

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