Thallium poisoning

Poisoning with the element thallium which enters the environment primarily from coal-burning and smelting. It stays in the air, water, and soil for a long time and is not broken down. It builds up in fish and shellfish. The major source of exposure to thallium for most people is eating food contaminated with thallium. Other sources of exposure include breathing workplace air in industries that use thallium, smoking cigarettes, living near hazardous waste sites containing thallium, and touching (or, for children, eating) soil contaminated with thallium. Exposure to high levels of thallium can result in harmful health effects. Studies in people who ingested large amounts of thallium over a short time have reported vomiting, diarrhea, temporary hair loss, and effects on the nervous system, lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys. It has caused death. A study on workers exposed on the job over several years reported nervous system effects, such as numbness of fingers and toes, from breathing thallium. It is not known what the effects are from ingesting low levels of thallium over a long time. The word "thallium" is a Latinized version of the Greek "thallos" meaning "green stalk" because of a characteristic bright green line in the spectrum of the element.

* * *

poisoning, usually of children or domestic animals, due to ingestion of thallium compounds. It is marked initially by gastrointestinal signs and symptoms such as nausea and abdominal pain. This is followed within a few days by alopecia; neurologic and psychic symptoms such as ataxia, restlessness, delirium, hallucinations, delusions, semicoma, and blindness; and liver and kidney damage. Called also thallitoxicosis and thallotoxicosis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thallium — (pronEng|ˈθæliəm) is a chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81. [ [http://periodic.lanl.gov/elements/81.html thallium ] , Los Alamos National Laboratory. Retrieved November 21, 2006.] This soft gray malleable poor metal resembles …   Wikipedia

  • thallium — /thal ee euhm/, n. Chem. a soft, malleable, rare, bluish white metallic element: used in the manufacture of alloys and, in the form of its salts, in rodenticides. Symbol: Tl; at. wt.: 204.37; at. no.: 81; sp. gr.: 11.85 at 20°C. [1860 65; < NL,… …   Universalium

  • thallium — A white metallic element, atomic no. 81, atomic wt. 204.3833; 201Tl (half life equal to 3.038 days) is used to scan the myocardium. [G. thallos, a green shoot (it gives a green line in the spectrum)] t. 201 (201 …   Medical dictionary

  • Poisoning — Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning is still a major hazard to children, despite child resistant (and sometimes adult resistant) packaging and dose limits per container. See also poison, Poison Control… …   Medical dictionary

  • heavy metal poisoning — poisoning by any of the heavy metals; common conditions include antimony poisoning, arsenic poisoning, cadmium poisoning, cobalt poisoning, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, thallium poisoning, and zinc poisoning …   Medical dictionary

  • Alexander Litvinenko poisoning — Alexander Litvinenko was a former officer of Russian Federal Security Service, who escaped prosecution in Russia and received a political asylum in Great Britain. He authored two books, and Lubyanka Criminal Group, where he accused Russian secret …   Wikipedia

  • Zhu Ling (poisoning victim) — Zhu Ling (zh cp|c=朱令|p=Zhū Lìng, b. 1973) [http://www.nanfangdaily.com.cn/rwzk/20060111/mj/200603030019 290762.jpgphoto] is best known as the victim of an unsolved 1995 thallium poisoning case in Beijing, China. Her case was reported to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Lead poisoning — Classification and external resources An X ray demonstrating the characteristic finding of lead poisoning, dense metaphyseal lines. ICD 10 T …   Wikipedia

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning — This article is about carbon monoxide poisoning. For general information on carbon monoxide, see carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning Classification and external resources Spacefilling model of a carbon monoxide molecule …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury poisoning — Classification and external resources Elemental mercury ICD 10 T …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.