Pure thallium is a bluish-white metal that is found in trace amounts in the earth's crust. In the past, thallium was obtained as a by-product from smelting other metals; however, it has not been produced in the United States since 1984. Currently, all the thallium is obtained from imports and from thallium reserves.
In its pure form, thallium is odorless and tasteless. It can also be found combined with other substances such as bromine, chlorine, fluorine, and iodine. When it's combined, it appears colorless-to-white or yellow.
Thallium is used mostly in manufacturing electronic devices, switches, and closures, primarily for the semiconductor industry. It also has limited use in the manufacture of special glass and for certain medical procedures.
Exposure to thallium occurs mainly from eating food
. Exposure to higher levels of thallium may occur in the workplace
. Breathing high levels of thallium may result in effects on the nervous system
, while ingesting high levels of it results in vomiting, diarrhea
, temporary hair loss
, and other effects. This chemical has been found in at least 210 of 1,416 National Priorities List sites
identified by the Environmental Protection Agency
See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. In addition, it
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