Last time I asked “What do you predict would happen to a bunch of brightly coloured flowers placed into a gas jar of chlorine?” Well, of course, the flowers would be bleached white and this is indeed what happened.
Chlorine is an element in Group 7 of the Periodic Table, a group called The Halogens. The halogens are: F = fluorine, Cl = chlorine, Br = bromine, I = iodine and At = astatine.
The elements exist as diatomic molecules and we had some fun doodling this the other day.
Britannica.com says “the name halogen, from the Greek roots hal- (“salt”) and -gen (“to produce”).” Thus, the halogens produce salts and in my blog of November 1st 2012 I showed some pictures of sodium chloride, sodium bromide and sodium iodide. I don’t have any sodium fluoride, but this too should be a white, crystalline solid.
Sodium fluoride is toxic if swallowed and liberates very toxic gas on contact with acids (CLEAPSS Hazcard 95A, 2007). Presumably this could happen in the stomach if large amounts were ingested. Fortunately, only very small amounts of sodium fluoride are added to fluoride toothpaste (for example 0.32% w/w). Probably best not to swallow your toothpaste anyhow, just in case!
The formula for sodium fluoride is NaF, what would be the formula of calcium fluoride?