Wikijunior:The Elements/Bromine

Shows the position of Bromine on the periodic chart.
Bromine's symbol on the Periodic Table

What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?


Bromine is a toxic, reddish-brown liquid at room temperature. It has a very strong odor that can irritate the eyes, lungs, and throat. It is hard to describe the smell but most people say that it smells like chemicals.

How was it discovered?

25 milliliters of bromine, a liquid at room temperature

Bromine was discovered independently by Antoine Balard and Carl Jacob Löwig in 1825 and 1826. Balard produced it from seaweed ash and Löwig isolated bromine from a mineral water spring near his home.

Where did its name come from?


The name "bromine" comes from the word brôme, which derives from the Greek βρωμος (stench.)

Did You Know?

  • Bromine is an ingredient in the rare purple dye shellfish, or Tyrian, purple, the cost of which was what made the color purple synonymous with royalty.
  • After fluorine, bromine is the most reactive element.
  • Bromine is a reddish-brown liquid at room temperature and it the only liquid non-metal.

Where is it found?


Bromine exists exclusively as bromide salts in the Earth's crust, and as the bromide ion in seawater.

What are its uses?


Bromine compounds are used as flame retardants, pesticides, and as additives in leaded gasoline.

Is it dangerous?


Yes, it is toxic. Bromine should not make any contact with skin. When it contacts skin, bromine produces painful sores. Inhalation may lead to death.