A picture taken on January 13, 2019 shows a sculpture of Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. The monument made of milled stainless steel by sculptor Karol Lacko in 1974 is located in front of the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology of Slovak Technical University, in Bratislava, Slovakia © Vladimir Simicek/AFP/Getty Images)

Which elements are in danger of running out?

As we celebrate 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev's publication of the periodic table, Federica Fragapane's infographic explains which elements are under threat.

Today marks 150 years since Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published the first recognisable version of the periodic table – a visual representation of how chemical elements relate to one another.


Since then, the substances depicted have been used to make everything from rocket fuel to raincoats, but our overreliance on some – especially those used in smartphones – is starting to put a strain on resources.

Click on the picture to see the enlarged images, or pick up a copy of the new-look BBC Science Focus for the full infographic – available from 6 March.

© Federica Fragapane
© Federica Fragapane

*Some radioactive elements are either scarce or have no significant industrial applications. This means they are unlikely to be traded on the secondary market outside of nuclear labs making it difficult to assign them monetary values.

© Federica Fragapane
  1. © Federica Fragapane
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