What it’s used for:
You’re probably most familiar with the form of fluorine as the part of toothpaste that helps prevent tooth decay (yay fluoride!)1. In the chemical world, the gas form of fluorine is known to be extremely reactive. That’s why it’s been used to melt glass and make rocket fuel2.
How it affects the body:
When inhaled in small amounts, fluorine can cause severe irritation to the respiratory system (nose, throat, and lungs). In large amounts, it can cause death3.