Elements can take many forms, and this tends to
dictate the toxicity. For example,
potassium metal is extremely reactive, and will
explode if it touches water. When you put it in
water, it forms potassium hydroxide, which is a
caustic base that will burn your skin. If you
neutralize the solution with something like
hydrochloric acid, then you'll get potassium
chloride, which is a harmless salt. You need
potassium in your body to live, as it's necessary
for your heart to pump and your nerves to fire.
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