Paris Green

Paris Green
Paris Green
CAS number 12002-03-8
UN number 1585
Molecular formula Cu(C2H3O2)2·3Cu(AsO2)2
 YesY Green (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references
Paris Green
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #50C878
RGBB (r, g, b) (80, 200, 120)
HSV (h, s, v) (140°, 60%, 78%)
Source [Unsourced]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Paris Green is an inorganic compound more precisely known as copper(II) acetoarsenite. It is a highly toxic emerald-green crystalline powder[2] 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.[3] 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 may be prepared by combining copper(II) acetate and arsenic trioxide.[4]



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.[5]


Paris Green pigment

Paris Green was once a popular pigment used in artists' paints.

Related pigments

Similar natural compounds are the minerals Chalcophyllite Cu18Al2(AsO4)3(SO4)3(OH)27·36(H2O), Conichalcite CaCu(AsO4)(OH), Cornubite Cu5(AsO4)2(OH)4·(H2O), Cornwallite Cu5(AsO4)2(OH)4·(H2O), and Liroconite Cu2Al(AsO4)(OH)4·4(H2O). 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 moulds, 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.

See also


  1. ^ "Health & Safety in the Arts -- Painting & Drawing Pigments". Environmental Management Division, City of Tucson AZ. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet". NJ Dept. of Health and Senior Services. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  3. ^ "How to Use Copper in Pyro Star Compositions to Create Blue Fireworks Stars". Skylighter. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  4. ^ "H.Wayne Richardson, "Copper Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a07_567
  5. ^ Justin M. Andrews, Sc. D. (1963). "PREVENTIVE MEDICINE IN WORLD WAR II, CHAPTER V. North Africa, Italy, and the Islands of the Mediterranean". WASHINGTON, D.C. USA: OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. pp. 281. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paris green — Green Green (gr[=e]n), n. 1. The color of growing plants; the color of the solar spectrum intermediate between the yellow and the blue. [1913 Webster] 2. A grassy plain or plat; a piece of ground covered with verdant herbage; as, the village… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Paris green — Paris Par is, n. The chief city of France. [1913 Webster] {Paris green}. See under {Green}, n. {Paris white} (Chem.), purified chalk used as a pigment; whiting; Spanish white. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Paris green — n. [after PARIS2] a poisonous, bright green powder made by reacting sodium arsenite with copper sulfate and acetic acid: used chiefly as an insecticide …   English World dictionary

  • Paris green — noun Etymology: Paris, France Date: 1868 1. a very poisonous green copper and arsenic compound C4H6As6Cu4O16 used especially formerly as an insecticide and pigment 2. a brilliant yellowish green …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Paris green — Par′is green′ n. 1) chem. an emerald green, poisonous powder produced from arsenic trioxide and copper acetate: used chiefly as a pigment, insecticide, and wood preservative 2) a light to vivid yellow green • Etymology: 1870–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • Paris green — 1. Chem. an emerald green, poisonous, water insoluble powder produced from arsenic trioxide and copper acetate: used chiefly as a pigment, insecticide, and wood preservative. 2. (sometimes l.c.) a variable hue ranging from light to vivid yellow… …   Universalium

  • Paris green — Cupric acetoarsenite, used as an insecticide and as a pigment. * * * Par·is green .par əs n a very poisonous copper based bright green powder Cu(C2H3O2)2·3Cu(AsO2)2 that is used as an insecticide and pigment * * * copper acetoarsenite …   Medical dictionary

  • Paris green — /pærəs ˈgrin/ (say paruhs green) noun an emerald green pigment prepared from arsenic trioxide and acetate of copper, now used chiefly as an insecticide …  

  • Paris green — noun Copper(II) acetoarsenite, a highly toxic blue green chemical used as a pigment, colorant, and poison …   Wiktionary

  • Paris green — noun a vivid green toxic salt of copper and arsenic, used as a preservative, pigment, and insecticide …   English new terms dictionary

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