We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Yttrium?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Yttrium is a metallic chemical element which is often found in compounds with the rare earth metals. Subsequently, it is often grouped with these metals even though this classification is technically incorrect. There are a number of uses for yttrium, primarily in the form of alloys which are used in a wide variety of products from television screens to lamps. Most people are never exposed to pure yttrium, since the element is reactive enough that it almost always appears in the form of a compound.

The element is named for Ytterby, a Swedish town. The pure form of the element is silvery and highly crystalline in structure, and it combines readily with a number of other elements. It is identified by the atomic number 39 on the periodic table of elements, along with the symbol Y. In some cases, such as when it becomes oxidized, yttrium may acquire a reddish to pink tinge, and it is formally classified among the transition metals of the periodic table.

The element was first discovered in 1794 by Johann Gadolin, who was analyzing the rare earth ores from the Ytterby quarry. This quarry actually contained a number of unusual minerals, containing compounded forms of elements like erbium and terbium, which are also named after Ytterby. Yttrium was first successfully isolated in 1828 by Friedrich Wohler, a German chemist who worked on several elements in addition to yttrium.

In metal refining, yttrium is used to remove impurities, since it is readily attracted to substances like hydrogen which may cause metal impurities. The element is also used in metal alloys and in the manufacture of some synthetic gemstones. In television manufacturing, yttrium is an important component of color tubes. Isotopes of yttrium also appear to hold potential promise as medical treatments, although researchers believe that further experimentation is needed.

In a pure form, yttrium is harmful. The element has been linked to cancer, and it can be associated with gases which cause respiratory problems. Face and airway protection should also be worn because the element can be reactive with air, especially when it is broken apart. Yttrium does not appear to play a biological role in the body, suggesting that it is not necessary for human health, even in trace amounts.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.