Agent Name

Promethium

CAS Number

7440-12-2; 14380-75-7 ( Pm-147)

Formula

Pm

Major Category

Physical/Radiation

Category

Radionuclides

Description

Solid metal; [Merck Index]

Sources/Uses

Promethium is present in rare earth minerals Pm-147 in minute quantities (< 10E-19 %) as a result of cosmic ray reactions and spontaneous fission of U-238. [Ullmann] Used in nuclear-powered batteries, thickness gauges, luminous compounds, and portable x-ray sources; [Merck Index] "Searches for the element on earth have been fruitless, and it now appears that promethium is completely missing from the earth's crust." [Reference #1]

Comments

All isotopes are radioactive (mass numbers = 132-155); Pm-145 has the longest half-life at 17.7 years, an alpha emitter; Present at low levels in uranium ores; [Merck Index] Pm-147 with a half-life of 2.6 years is the most useful isotope. Pm-145 has the longest half-life; it has a specific activity of 940 Ci/g. See "Radiation, Ionizing." See "RARE EARTH METALS" and linked occupational diseases.

Reference Link

LANL: Promethium

Exposure Assessment
Explanatory Notes

mp = 1080 deg C; [Merck Index]

Links to Other NLM Databases
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