Thallium tl thallium can be assimilated transdermal through the skin, by inhalation, or by oral ingestion. Toxicology tests are done to evaluate thallium concentrations in. The mean lethal dose of thalliumi sulfate for an adult is about 1 gram. Thallium blood levels may be elevated after recent exposures, but it is cleared from the blood relatively quickly. Symptoms are primarily related to the gastrointestinal and nervous system, while diffuse alopecia 3 weeks after ingestion is typical for thallium intoxication. This presents as excruciating pain and hyperaestheia on the soles of the feet, along with extreme calf tenderness to the point where at times the weight of bedclothes touching the legs can be unbearable. The reemergence of thallium as a heavy metal contaminant of human populations. The fda has approved prussian blue radiogardase as an antidote for thallium toxicity. Overlapping toxic effect of long term thallium exposure on. Batemsn department of chemistry, leland staxiord jr. Thallium toxicity has multiorgan involvement and presents with vague symptoms that are often attributed to other causes.
Thallium poisoning is more common in developing countries where thallium rat poisons are still available and where there are less rigorous health and safety workplace practices. Thallium tl is a naturally occurring, highly toxic heavy metal and has been. Ever heard of the toxic heavy metal called thallium. Jul 07, 2011 thallium is excreted in breast milk and can cross the placental barrier. Thallium is released into the environment through its use in rat poison in the manufacture of special glass, fluorescent colors and synthetic gemstones. Gastrointestinal findings may be mild or nonexistent, especially in chronic poisoning. Some of the newer anticoagulant compounds, termed secondgeneration anticoagulants, may cause human toxicity. The chosen idlh has been estimated from the data given by. Thallium is a toxic metal that causes serious fatigue.
Thallium 201tl chloride i is a sterile, clear and colourless solution for injection. Integrated risk information system iris september 2009. Thallium poisoning is very rare and may occur accidentally, through occupational exposure and because of its potency, it is described as a weapon of intentional poisoning. Thalliums similar size to potassium results in early stimulation then inhibition of potassiumdependent processes. The symptomatology of its toxicity is usually nonspecific due to the multiorgan involvement.
Thallium enters food because it is easily taken up by plants through the roots. Thallium poisoning begins mildly involves nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, followed by a symptomfree period of. It is generally present in the environment at low levels. In 1995, zhu ling was the victim of an unsolved attempted thallium poisoning in beijing, china. Thallium poisoning an overview sciencedirect topics. Feb 19, 2018 thallium accumulates in tissues with high potassium concentrations such as muscle, heart, and central and peripheral nerve tissue. Subacute signs and symptoms onset of days to weeks following ingestion after a substantial, acute exposure or chronic exposure to limited amounts of thallium might include those of a severely painful ascending neuropathy as well as ataxia, seizures. Thallium is excreted in breast milk and can cross the placental barrier. The clinical presentation of thallium toxicity can vary depending on the type, severity, and timeframe of the exposure. Many people have never heard of it, yet thallium toxicity is worse than lead, cadmium and mercury toxicity combined. Use of the antidote prussian blue has only been reported in two separate cases of thallium poisoning in pregnancy. Thallium metal forms a brownish black oxide on exposure to air. Reports of poisoning of domestic animals by thal lium were published as early as 1920. Michael rosenbaum, md, and ernest hubbard based on an interview with nancy faass, msw, mph townsend letter, the examiner of alternative medicine alternative medicine magazine articles are written by researchers, health practitioners and patients.
Further support for the chosen idlh can be gained from the statement by deichmann. Because of this high toxicity, the world health organization who recommends against the use of thallium in rodent and insect poisons. Thallium is thought to combine with mitochondrial sulfhydryl enzymes at a. Thank you for your interest in spreading the word about the bmj. Thallium itself and compounds containing the element are highly toxic. Thallium compounds have been used as rodenticides for many years. The thallium was slipped into bottles of cocacola at the carr and trepal homes. Recognition and management of pesticide poisonings. Health risks of thallium in contaminated arable soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater from a sulfuric acid plant in western guangdong province, china. Therapies of thallium intoxication combine forced diuresis, use of activated. Heavy metal exposure affect plant productivity by interfering, directly and indirectly, with photosynthetic reactions. The general use of these compounds by pest control companies, and their availability. Thallium has now shown up in my biofeedback test, only thing i can figure is that the hg being moved out by the cutler protocol is unearthing some thallium. A multidose vial can contain from 1 to 10 ml of solution for injection.
Sep 26, 2019 the atsdr toxicological profile succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for the hazardous substance described here. Thallium is a toxic heavy metal, which was accidentally discovered by sir william crookes in 1861 by burning the dust from a sulfuric acid industrial plant. Charcoal binds to thallium, keeping it within the intestinal tract. The first resulted in the premature delivery of an infant at 6 months gestation after maternal thallium poisoning, and treatment with prussian blue at an unknown stage of pregnancy pai 1987. Since thalliumi sulfate is a simple powder with indistinctive properties, it can easily be mistaken for more innocuous chemicals. The loec for thallium in bioassays with terrestrial invertebrates and plants in artificial soil ranged from 1 to 500 mgkg, which indicates an toxicity of thallium up to 100 times higher than that. Pdf a 21yearold black male with painful neuropathy, abdominal pain, tachycardia and encephalopathy developed striking scalp alopecia 1. This document includes nine of the commonly used thallium compounds. The clinical presentation of thallium toxicity can vary. The initial symptoms of thallium poisoning may include fever, gastrointestinal problems, delirium, convulsions and. This thallium falls out of the air onto nearby fruit and vegetable gardens. General issues, neurological symptoms, and neurotoxic mechanisms springerlink.
Toxicological profile for thallium agency for toxic. Thallium ti is a highly toxic metal that is anthropo genically. Once commonly referred to as inheritance powder, it was the assassins poison of choice since it is odorless, tasteless, colorless, dissolves in water, and can kill in anywhere from a few hours to a couple days creating a mystery as to what the true cause of death was. Thallium poisoning in the dog iowa state university. The exact mechanism of thallium toxicity is still unknown. Thalliumi sulfate is soluble in water and its toxic effects are derived from the thalliumi cation.
Toxicity data were found for five of these compounds thallium sulfate, thallium oxide, thallium nitrate, thallium acetate, and thallium carbonate. Despite fetal complications ranging from severe toxicity and permanent deficit to normal development, the only consistent effect was increased risk of prematurity and low birth weight. Acute thallium poisoning is primarily characterized by gastrointestinal, neurological, and dermatological symptoms, while neurologic findings predominate with chronic exposure and tend to progress, even despite decreasing blood thallium levels. It is added to gasoline and released into the air by car exhaust. It is particularly dangerous because compounds containing thallium are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Few laboratories can perform an assay for thallium. Biomagnification of thallium in aquatic ecosystems has been reported higher than 10,000fold lin et al. Acute thallium poisoning is usually due to ingestion of the salts, while chronic. The anticoagulants, indandiones and red squill are less hazardous to humans and domestic animals. Thallium poisoning is one of the most complex and serious toxicities known to man. Thallium is the element rat poison and industrial waste. Oct 26, 2016 thallium is released into the biosphere from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Thallium was the poison of choice for saddam hussein to use on dissidents, which even allowed for them to emigrate before dying. Thallium toxicity to bacteria, fungi and primary producers 12.
Once used as rat poison thallium was banned many years ago and has been associated to the loss of the ability to walk. Ingestion of toxic amounts of thallium might cause gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, most commonly abdominal pain. As a result, the symptoms are commonly dismissed by traditional health practitioners altogether and lead to a misdiagnosis of the patients condition 8. Jun 23, 2015 few laboratories can perform an assay for thallium.
Acute toxicity will produce a thallium concentration many times higher than the reference range of 05 ngml. A 24hour urine thallium concentration is the most accurate way to assess thallium toxicity but a spot urine level is likely to provide a more rapid and reasonably reliable answer. Thallium poisoning is associated with these environment exposures. The painful neuropathy, however, starts as early as the day after exposure, and should prompt concern about thallium toxicity.
Since long back, thallium has been used extensively, and human exposure to thallium compounds has occurred naturally. The toxic effect of heavy metals on photosynthetic reactions has been reported in wideranging studies, however there is paucity of data in the literature concerning thallium tl toxicity. Acgih 1971 that ld 50 values for different thallium compounds, by various routes of administration and for several species of animals ranged from 3 to 92 mgkg downs et al. A few years ago the attention of one of the writerswas called. Thallium poisoning should be suspected in any patient with neurological symptoms and hair loss. Pdf naturai occurrence of thallium on the earth may be modest, but it has been u,idely used in various industrial activities. Therapies of thallium intoxication combine forced diuresis, use of. Acute toxicity values of thallium sulfate and thallium nitrate to daphnia magna, as lc 50, have been reported to be 8. Acute toxicity of trivalent thallium compounds to daphnia. Atmospheric emission and deposition from industrial sources have resulted in increased concentrations of thallium in the vicinity of mineral smelters and coalburning facilities. Key enzymes involved in thallium toxicity include pyruvate kinase and succinate dehydrogenase. Small amounts of thallium are released into the air from coalburning power plants, cement factories, and smelting operations.1265 888 1246 242 923 617 477 1018 611 1633 839 144 1123 1086 299 1059 1595 875 249 1445 1633 1352 176 1455 438 1458 868 27 1167 568 1355 1139 1269 34 1380