Beryllium was discovered by N. I. Vauquelin in 1797 but not extracted as a metal until 1828 by Friedrich Wöhler in Berlin and A. A. B. Bussy in Paris. Its name comes from the Greek beryllos for the semi-precious stone beryl, from which beryllium is derived.
Beryllium is relatively unreactive; it forms divalent, tetracoordinate compounds which are very poisonous, and inhalation can lead to an incurable inflammation of the lungs called berylliosis. Beryllium oxide (BeO) is used in ceramics and in electronics.
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