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Is Gypsum harmful to humans?

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Last updated date: 22nd Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
Answer
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Hint:Gypsum is a compound which is composed of calcium sulphate dihydrate. It has a chemical formula $CaS{{O}_{4}}.2{{H}_{2}}O$ . It is water soluble but its solubility decreases if we increase the temperature. Gypsum consists of layers of calcium and sulphate ions tightly bound together.

Complete step-by-step answer:Gypsum is a common mineral which is deposited from lake and sea water. It is the most common sulphate which has many applications. The colour of pure gypsum is white but the impurities can colour in a wide range. It is formed as a by-product of oxidation of sulphide.
Let us discuss the application of gypsum-
Gypsum is widely used as a concrete block in building constructions.
It is used in plaster ingredients in surgical splints.
It is used in fertilizer and soil conditioners.
It is also used for reclamation of saline soils. When we add gypsum to acidic soil, it converts the highly soluble boron to less soluble calcium metaborate.
We use gypsum boards for the finishing of walls and ceilings.
Yes, gypsum is harmful to humans.
Let us discuss the hazards of Gypsum-
Gypsum can cause irritation in the eyes, skin and upper respiratory system.
Inhalation of Gypsum can cause cancer.
If we ingest Gypsum, it can clog the gastrointestinal tract.
Gypsum can cause headaches, difficulty in breathing, cough, running nose and sore throat.

Note:It is to note that gypsum is formed beneath the layer of sedimentary rock. Do not get confused between gypsum and Anhydrite. Chemically, gypsum contains two water molecules whereas anhydrite does not contain water molecules.
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