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The importance of calcium minerals in our daily lives INTRODUCTION Calcium is a fairly hard material found naturally through the earth It is one of the most abundant elements on earth forming over 3 of the earths crust Calcium has 6 stable and several radioactive isotopes Refer to figure 1 for the properties of calcium and figure 2 for a picture of what calcium looks like If calcium was no longer available anywhere and it was not possible to produce it artificially it would have a deep impact on the lives of humans everywhere on the earth We have many major uses for calcium that are Cement and the calcium is also used by our bodies to produce bones and teeth Without the uses of calcium there would be a large social problem that would have an effect on most living things Figure 1 Physical Properties Melting Point8390o C 111215o K 15422o F Boiling Point1484o C 175715o K 270322o F PhaseSolid ColourSilvery colour Atomic Number20 Atomic Mass40078 amu Figure 2 picture of calcium Living organisms When calcium is no longer available living organisms such as humans and animals that have bones or shells and also plants such as coral will be effected because they all are dependant on calcium Bones are not dead material but living organisms that produce blood and can grow Bone contains a mixture of living cells and hard mineral that is deposited by the cells The mineral is a compound of calcium known as calcium phosphate See figure 3 for calcium phosphate properties Figure 3 PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Color is typically green but also yellow blue reddish brown and purple Luster is vitreous to greasy and gumdrop Transparency Crystals are transparent to translucent Crystal System is hexagonal 6m Crystal Habits include the typical hexagonal prism with the hexagonal pyramid or a pinacoid or both as a termination Also
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