Agent Name

Bismuth

CAS Number

7440-69-9

Formula

Bi

Major Category

Metals

Synonyms

Bismuth, elemental

Category

Elements, Metallic

Description

Gray-white, soft and brittle metal; [Merck Index, 1257]

Sources/Uses

Used as a metal alloy, catalyst, and semiconductor; Also used to make cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, thermocouplers, galvanometers, type metal for printing, solders, mirrors, and uranium fuel; [HSDB] Bismuth medications include bismuth subsalicylate used to treat traveler's diarrhea and bismuth subgallate used as an internal deodorant by patients with ileostomies and colostomies; [Goldfrank, p. 1233]

Comments

Bismuth is a "hepatotoxic agent." [Zimmerman, p. 4] Ingestion of high doses of bismuth may cause stomatitis, hyperpigmentation of oral mucosa, kidney dysfunction, myoclonus, and encephalopathy. [Ford, p. 740] Elemental bismuth is nontoxic. Bismuth salts are toxic after ingestion. In cases of acute poisoning after ingestion, patients suffer abdominal pain and acute renal failure. In cases of chronic poisoning after repeated ingestion of medications containing bismuth, encephalopathy has been reported. Lipid soluble, organic compounds such as bismuth subsalicylate and bismuth subgallate are toxic to the CNS; Water soluble, organic compounds such as bismuth triglycollamate are toxic to the kidneys; Insoluble, inorganic compounds such as bismuth subnitrate and bismuth subcarbonate have minimal toxicity. [Goldfrank , p. 1233-4]

Exposure Assessment
Explanatory Notes

Melting point = 271 degrees C;

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

Other CNS Neurotoxin

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Nephrotoxin

Yes

Links to Other NLM Databases
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Toxicity Information

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Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: