Agent Name

Osmium

CAS Number

7440-04-2

Formula

Os

Major Category

Metals

Synonyms

Metallic osmium; Osmium, elemental; [ChemIDplus]

Category

Elements, Metallic

Description

Bluish-white lustrous solid; [Merck Index] Greyish or bluish-white metal or powder; [MSDSonline]

Sources/Uses

Occurs in the mineral osmiridium and in platinum ores; [Merck Index] Used as a catalyst for steroid synthesis, ammonia formation, and hydrogenation of organic compounds; as a fixing and staining agent for electron microscopy; as hardener for iridium and platinum; for instrument pivots; as alloy with iridium for pen points, fine machine bearings, engraving tools, phonograph needles, and watch bearings; as alloy with tungsten in filaments for high intensity incandescent lamps; [HSDB]

Comments

A skin irritant; Highly toxic; [Hawley] Powder is strong eye irritant; Effects in high-dose animal studies include convulsions; [MSDSonline] "The metals in this group [platinum, palladium, iridium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium] generally are nontoxic in the metallic state, but the soluble halide salts (particularly of Pt) and osmium tetroxide are highly reactive. Exposure to these elements results in hypersensitivity allergic reactions in susceptible individuals." [Sullivan, p. 911] See "Osmium tetroxide."

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

Other CNS Neurotoxin

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: