Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paris Green

Paris Green pigment
Paris Green is an inorganic compound more precisely known as copper(II) acetoarsenite. It is a highly toxic emerald-green crystalline powder that has been used as a rodenticide and insecticide, and also as a pigment, despite its toxicity. It is also used as a blue colorant for fireworks. The color of Paris Green is said to range from a pale, but vivid, blue green when very finely ground, to a deeper true green when coarsely ground.
Paris Green was once used to kill rats in Parisian sewers, hence the common name. It was also used in America and elsewhere as an insecticide for produce, such as apples, around 1900, where it was blended with lead arsenate. This quite toxic mixture is said "to have burned the trees and the grass around the trees". Paris green was heavily sprayed by airplane in Italy, Sardinia, and Corsica during 1944 and in Italy in 1945 to control malaria.
Paris Green was once a popular pigment used in artists' paints

“We finished Will’s wheat cutting about half past nine this morning.  Albert helped them set up until nearly noon.  He cultivated corn this afternoon.  I Paris Greened some of the potatoes.”

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