Remember the periodic table from high school chemistry class? Today, it contains 118 natural and man-made elements in clear, equal boxes from heavy metals.
With many natural resources on the planet, the European Chemical Society has released a new periodic table. This one with curves and clumps shows how much of each element is actually left on the planet.
"Some of these elements we have less than a hundred years before it is much harder to grab them," said David Cole-Hamilton, Vice President of the European Chemical Society.
Two examples: iridium and helium.
Iridium is part of an item that makes your smartphone touch screen work. Helium is used for magnetic resonance imaging, deep sea diving and … yes, party balloons.
While MR scanners and deep sea divers recycle their helium, party balloons pop, it releases noble element into the air.
"It is very, very light and it is very, very stable, so if it enters the atmosphere, it can go all the way to the edge of the earth, and it can be lost in outer space, forever," said Cole-Hamilton. "The amount of helium at the moment is very low, reserves are probably only enough for about 10 years."
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