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Bismuth is a shiny silver-white metal, which occurs in nature in dignified form. Bismuth and its compounds find use in a variety of industries, including the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. The cosmetics industry uses some Bismuth compounds as pigments in eye shadow or nail polishes. In the medical field, bismuth can be used as an X-ray contrast agent for the presentation of the gastrointestinal tract or in skin ointments. As a technical product bismuth is used in various alloys and is often used here as a substitute for lead. Other applications for Bismuth are as catalysts or in paints, varnishes and plastics.