Cobalt poisoning

Cobalt poisoning
Classification and external resources

ICD-10 T56.8
ICD-9 985.8
DiseasesDB 2882

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] However in common with all elements and all chemical compounds, excessive cobalt can cause death. Even the name of the element reflects its toxicity; It was derived from kobold, the name of an evil spirit in German lore..

How cobalt enters the body

Exposure to cobalt metal dust is most common in the fabrication of tungsten carbide.

Toxicity of cobalt salts

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 "Cobalt and Cobalt Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a07_281.pub2

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