Paris green (copper(II) acetate triarsenite or copper(II) acetoarsenite) is an inorganic compound. 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 blue green when very finely ground, to a deeper green when coarsely ground.
C.I. pigment green 21, emerald green, Schweinfurt green, imperial green, Vienna green, Mitis green, Veronese green
3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||1013.79444 g/mol|
|Appearance||Emerald green crystalline powder|
|Density||>1.1 g/cm3 (20 °C)|
|Melting point||>345 °C|
|Solubility||soluble but unstable in acids
insoluble in alcohol
|Safety data sheet||CAMEO MSDS|
|R-phrases (outdated)||R23/25 R50/53|
|S-phrases (outdated)||(S1/2) S20/21 S28 S45 S60 S61|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|US health exposure limits (NIOSH):|
|[1910.1018] TWA 0.010 mg/m3|
|Ca C 0.002 mg/m3 [15-minute]|
IDLH (Immediate danger)
|Ca [5 mg/m3 (as As)]|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
|sRGBB (r, g, b)||(80, 200, 120)|
|CMYKH (c, m, y, k)||(60, 0, 40, 22)|
|HSV (h, s, v)||(140°, 60%, 78%)|
|B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)
At the turn of the 20th century, Paris green, blended with lead arsenate, was used in America and elsewhere as an insecticide on produce such as apples. The 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. It was once used to kill rats in Parisian sewers, which is how it acquired its common name. It was also used heavily in the Americas to control Heliothis virescens.
Paris green, also called emerald green, was a popular pigment used in artists' paints by (among others) the English painter W. Turner, Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir and Post-Impressionists such as Gauguin, Cézanne and Van Gogh.
Similar natural compounds are the minerals chalcophyllite Cu
2O, conichalcite CaCu(AsO
4)(OH), cornubite Cu
2O, cornwallite Cu
2O, and liroconite Cu
2O. These vivid minerals range from greenish blue to slightly yellowish green.
Scheele's green is a chemically simpler, less brilliant, and less permanent, synthetic copper-arsenic pigment used for a rather short time before Paris green was first prepared, which was approximately 1814. It was popular as a wallpaper pigment and would degrade, with moisture and molds, to arsine gas. Paris green may have also been used in wallpaper to some extent and may have also degraded similarly. Both pigments were once used in printing ink formulations.
The ancient Romans used one of them, possibly conichalcite, as a green pigment. The Paris green paint used by the Impressionists is said to have been composed of relatively coarse particles. Later, the chemical was produced with increasingly small grinds and without carefully removing impurities; its permanence suffered. It is likely that it was ground more finely for use in watercolors and inks, too.
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- The Natural Paint Book, by Lynn Edwards, Julia Lawless, Table of contents
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- Emerald green, Colourlex
Salts and the ester of the acetate ion