By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Calcium forms several compounds in nature and many of these have a wide variety of uses. Some examples of calcium compounds include:
- Hydroxylapatite, formed from calcium and phosphate. This forms the mineral portion of the bones and teeth.
- Calcium carbonate is used to make cement and mortar and also in the glass industry. Calcium carbonate is also added to toothpaste and mineral supplements.
- Calcium hydroxide, is used in the detection of carbon dioxide (CO2) as it turns cloudy in the presence of CO2
- Calcium carbide is a compound that is used in the manufacture of plastics and to make the acetylene gas use in torches
- Calcium phosphide is used as a rodenticide and also in fireworks and flares.
- Calcium phosphate is used in animal feed and fertilizers.
- Calcium sulfate is used to make chalk for the blackboard and in its hemihydrate form, is also known of as Plaster of Paris.
- Calcium gluconate is used as in vitamin tablets
- Calcium stearate is used in the manufacture of wax crayons, cosmetics, plastics and paints
- Other calcium compounds include calcium nitrate, calcium chloride, calcium cyanamide and calcium hypochlorite.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: May 22, 2014