Strontium is a metal found abundantly in the earth’s crust. It is a yellowish metallic element which is highly reactive. It may be of silver-white in color. When this metal is exposed to air it turns into yellow color. The name of the element is strontium due to the fact that it was first discovered in the village named strontium. The village is located in Scotland. The strontium is having different isotopes, and few of them are radioactive. Naturally occurring strontium is stable, whereas the synthetic strontium may not be much stable. Strontium which is occurring naturally in the earth is very soft and reacts readily with water. This reaction with water results in the formation of hydrogen gas and strontium hydroxide. Due to the extreme reactivity of strontium with air and water, it normally occurs in the form of compounds with other elements. Strontium may ignite readily in the air at room temperature. Strontium salts are kept in the kerosene oil or mineral oil. The reason why the strontium salt is kept in the mineral oil is due to its affinity towards water and air. Strontium is also very important element of the sugar industry. Mining of strontium is extensively done in the countries which are gifted with the ore of this element. The strontium present in the rocks is mostly in the form of the sulfate mineral and Celestite. Nowadays, China claims to be the top producer of strontium. Calcium and strontium have somewhat similar atomic radius and that’s why strontium acts as a substitute for calcium. Four main isotopes of the strontium are available in the nature. These four isotopes are of great importance. The isotopes of strontium vary greatly from area to area in the earth’s crust. Some of the isotopes are used in the formation of the nuclear weapons. Strontium is an element of great importance for the human body.
The element can be seen in the periodic table, as it is placed right below the calcium. The reason why it is placed below the calcium is that it has somewhat similar chemical and physical properties. Calcium, magnesium and strontium are considered to be in the same family and have somewhat similar properties. All these elements are present in the soil, food and in the human body. These metals are abundantly extracted from the earth. As an alkaline earth element, strontium resembles calcium as it is absorbed in the gut and eliminated from the kidneys. Strontium is present in the human body. Human bones are also having strontium in it. This shows that strontium is also essential for the human body. Normally, the strontium which is present in the earth’s crust is non radioactive. Strontium chloride and strontium citrate are found in excess in the earth’s crust. Sedimentary rocks also have a great amount of strontium in it. Strontium is softer than the calcium and is even more reactive in water. Strontium produces strontium hydroxide and hydrogen gas after reacting with water. Strontium also burns in air to form strontium oxide. The element is donated with the symbol Sr in the periodic table. As it is mentioned earlier that the strontium in its pure form is very reactive, although it is mined from several different parts of the world. The strontium extracted from the earth is mixed with other compounds. Several metal alloys have strontium in them. Strontium in its pure state catches fire readily. Many food items have strontium in it. Traces of strontium element are also seen in the drinking water. Water and food items are a good source of strontium. Strontium makes different compound with different other elements. All these elements have their specific uses. Some of these compounds are used in making optical glasses. Strontium compounds are used in making toothpastes, and few other strontium compounds are readily used in fireworks.
Strontium is so extensively present in the environment that it can be seen in soil, dust, oil and coal. Coal and oil reserves have a greater amount of strontium in them. Like some many other elements strontium is also essential for the proper body makeup. All the elements of the strontium group are used in different body functions.