Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Antimony
Identification Number: CASRN | 7440-36-0

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.


  • CATEGORIES: Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Homogeneous Metal Compounds | Homogeneous Metalloid Compounds | | Homogeneous Metalloid Compounds
  • SYNONYMS: Antimony (3+) ion | Antimony (5+) ion | Antimony black | Antimony cation | Antimony element | Antimony ion | Antimony(II) | Antimony(V) | Sb | Sb(3+) | Sb(5+) | Sb(III) | Sb(V) | Stibium
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Antimony metal and many of its compounds have been known since ancient times, and its toxicity has periodically been a matter of comment. Antimony (stibium) is an element and a metalloid, with atomic number 51 and atomic weight 121.75. It is in Group Va of the Periodic Table along with arsenic, bismuth, nitrogen and phosphorus. Contact with antimony occurs in a variety of ways, and as it is a common element in the surface of the earth it may accompany exposures to many different materials. Antimony has been identified in at least 114 different ores, and has even been found in meteorites. A recurrent problem in assessing its toxicity industrially is that arsenic and lead are often found with it, and other toxic materials, for example sulfur dioxide, may also be produced in the course of the process, and separation of exposures may be difficult or impossible. Contact with antimony has also occurred from is use as a medicinal substance, from natural exposures, and from domestic sources. Antimony has been a constituent not only of printing-metal but also of lead acid batteries, pigments, an opacifier under glazes and enamels (the white oxide), and in the present day it has been used widely as a flame retardant in fabrics and in brake linings of motor cars. Large scale industrial production, largely of antimony oxide, began in the early 19th century. Physiologically, this metal/element exists as an ion in the body. The toxicology of antimony and its compounds is known from three sources: its medicinal use over centuries, studies of process workers in more recent times, and more recent still, studies of its presence in modern city environments and in domestic environments. Gross exposure to antimony compounds over long periods, usually the sulfide (SbS3) or the oxide (Sb2O3) has occurred in antimony miners and in antimony process workers. There have been relatively few of these, and few studies of possible symptoms have been made. Antimony sulfide imported from, at different times, China, South Africa, and South America was processed in the North-East of England from about 1870 to 2003. The process workers in North-East England have been studied at different times, notably by Sir Thomas Oliver in 1933, and by the Newcastle upon Tyne University Department of Occupational Medicine on later occasions. Studies which have been made of the working environment, and in particular of the risk of lung cancer in process workers, have underlined the high levels of exposure to antimony compounds and to other toxic materials. However, the working conditions in antimony processing have improved markedly over the last 30 years, and the workforce had been much reduced in numbers following automation of the process. Prior to the cessation of the industry in the UK it had become a white coat operation with relatively few people exposed to high concentrations of antimony. Antimony, which is normally present in domestic environments, has also been studied as a possible cause of cot death syndrome (SIDS) but extensive investigations have not confirmed this. The full importance of environmental antimony has still to be determined, and evidence of specific effects has not yet been presented. (A7731).
  • COMMENTS: Note Increased Antimony mining activities in Australia (2015)
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: Sb
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | CPDB | T3DB | PubChem | EPA in USA
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea can result from inhalation of antimony. Dyspnea, headache, vomiting,cough, conjunctivitis, and bloody purulent discharge from nose can result from inhalation exposure. Skin or eye contact can cause pain and redness of the exposed surface. (T64, L741)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Dermal exposure to antimony can cause antimony spots (papules and pustules around sweat and sebaceous glands). Antimony poisoning can also lead to pneumoconiosis. Alterations in pulmonary function and other effects including chronic bronchitis, chronic emphysema, inactive tuberculosis, pleural adhesions, and irritation can result from inhalation of antimony. Increased blood pressure can also result from antimony poisoning. Myocardial depression, vasodilation and fluid loss may cause shock with hypotension, electrolyte disturbances and acute renal failure. Cerebral oedema, coma, convulsions, and death are possible. (L741) | Absorbed antimony is transported to various tissue compartments of the body via the blood; the highest levels are found in the hair and skin; the adrenal glands, lung, large intestine, trachea, cerebellum, and kidneys also contain relatively high levels of antimony. Antimony can covalently interact with sulfhydryl groups and phosphate, as well as numerous reversible binding interactions with endogenous ligands (e.g., proteins). It is not known if these interactions are toxicologically significant. Antimony is a metal and, therefore, does not undergo catabolism. Antimony is excreted via the urine and feces. Some of the fecal antimony may represent unabsorbed antimony that is cleared from the lung via mucociliary action into the esophagus to the gastrointestinal tract. (L741)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: The inhalation data suggests that the myocardium is a target of antimony toxicity. It is possible that antimony affects circulating glucose by interfering with enzymes of the glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis pathways. The mechanism of action of antimony remains unclear. However, some studies suggest that antimony combines with sulfhydryl groups including those in several enzymes important for tissue respiration. The antidotal action of BAL (2,3-dimercaptopropanol) depends on its ability to prevent or break the union between antimony and vital enzymes. Moreover, the cause of death is believed to be essentially the same as that in acute arsenic poisoning. (T18, L741, A238) | Trivalent antimony inhibits glutathione-S-transferases from human erythrocytes, reducing their detoxification ability. (L137)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Antimony enters the environment during the mining and processing of its ores and in the production of antimony metal, alloys, antimony oxide, and combinations of antimony with other substances. Exposure usually occurs from breathing air, drinking water, and eating foods that contain antimony. Exposure can also occur through dermal or skin contact. (L741)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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