An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.


Potassium-40 is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of potassium. Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Potassium is widely distributed in nature and is present in all plant and animal tissues. Potassium-40 comprises about 0.012% of naturally occurring potassium. It is the predominant radioactive component in human tissues and in most food. Potassium-40 has a half-life of 1.3 billion years and emits beta and gamma radiation. (L1134, L1851)

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