Fish, shellfish, plants, cigarettes, soil, air, water, electronic devices, switches and closures for the semiconductor industry, glass for medical procedures.
Some of its toxic effects results from interference with biological functions of potassium.
Goyer RA, Clarkson TW. Toxic effects of metals. Casarett and Doull’s toxicology: the basic science of poisons. 1996;5:696-698.
ATSDR. ToxFAQs for Thallium. Toxic Substances Portal 2013; https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=308&tid=49, 2020.
Osorio-Rico L, Santamaria A, Galvan-Arzate S. Thallium Toxicity: General Issues, Neurological Symptoms, and Neurotoxic Mechanisms. Adv Neurobiol. 2017;18:345-353.
Thallium is absorbed through the skin and GI tracts. Highest concentrations are found in the kidney. Large amounts are excreted in the urine within 24 hours, then excreted via feces. Tl undergoes enterohepatic circulation. Tl can accumulate in bones, renal medulla, liver and CNS.
Thallium has a similar charge and radius as the potassium ion. Some of its toxic effects results from interference with biological functions of potassium.
Additionally, it binds to sulfhydryl groups in the mitochondria interfering with oxidative phosphorylation. With these mechanisms, cardiac dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, abnormal protein synthesis and heme synthesis are seen.
GI irritation, paralysis, alopecia, and psychological disturbances are seen.
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