Cobalt poisoning

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cobalt poisoning
Classification and external resources
Specialty emergency medicine
ICD-10 T56.8
ICD-9-CM 985.8
DiseasesDB 2882
MedlinePlus 002495

Cobalt poisoning is intoxication caused by excessive levels of cobalt in the body. Cobalt is an essential element for health in animals in minute amounts as a component of Vitamin B12. A deficiency of cobalt, which is very rare, is also potentially lethal, leading to pernicious anemia.[1]

How cobalt enters the body[edit]

Exposure to cobalt metal dust is most common in the fabrication of tungsten carbide. Another potential source is wear and tear of metal-on-metal hip prostheses.

Toxicity of cobalt salts[edit]

The LD50 values of soluble cobalt salts has been estimated to be between 150 and 500 mg/kg. Thus, for a 100 kg person the LD50 would be about 20 grams.[1]


  1. ^ a b John D. Donaldson; Detmar Beyersmann (2005). "Cobalt and Cobalt Compounds". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a07_281.pub2.