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Nonmetallic chemical element, chemical symbol Br, atomic number 35. One of the halogens, it is a deep red, fuming liquid at ordinary temperatures (freezing point 19 °F [7.2 °C]; boiling point 138 °F [59 °C]) that contains diatomic molecules (Br), and it does not occur free in nature. It is obtained from seawater and brines or salt beds. Extremely irritating and toxic, bromine is a strong oxidizing agent (seeoxidation-reduction). Its compounds, in which it may have valence 1, 3, 5, or 7, have many uses, including as petroleum additives (ethylene dibromide), in photographic emulsions (silver bromide), as sedatives, and in flour (potassium bromate).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bromine, visit Britannica.com.