Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Lithium cobalt oxide
Identification Number: CASRN | 12190-79-3

  Substance Attributes


  • 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.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Synthetic Toxin
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Heterocyclic Compounds | Pyrrolidines | Phenylpyrrolidines | Phenylpyrrolidines
  • SYNONYMS: LiCoO2 | Lithium cobalt(III) oxide | Lithium cobaltite
  • DESCRIPTION: Lithium cobalt oxide is a chemical compound of cobalt. It is used in lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt is a metallic element with the atomic number 27. It is found naturally in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. In small amounts cobalt is an essential element for life, as it is part of vitamin B12. However, excess exposure is known to exhibit toxic effects. (L29, L30, L38)
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: CoLiO2
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

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

  • SYMPTOMS: Cobalt inhalation can cause asthma-like breathing problems. Skin contact is known to result in contact dermatitis, which is characterized by irritation and rashes. Ingesting large amounts of cobalt may cause nausea and vomiting. (L2090)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Exposure to high amount of cobalt can cause heart, lung, kidney, and liver damage. Skin contact is known to result in contact dermatitis. Cobalt may also have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. (L29, L30) | Cobalt is absorbed though the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and skin. Since it is a component of the vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), it is distributed to most tissues of the body. It is transported in the blood, often bound to albumin, with the highest levels being found in the liver and kidney. Cobalt is excreted mainly in the urine and faeces. (L29)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Cobalt is believed to exhibit its toxicity through a oxidant-based and free radical-based processes. It produces oxygen radicals and may be oxidized to ionic cobalt, causing increased lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, and inducing certain enzymes that lead to cell apoptosis. Cobalt has also been shown to block inorganic calcium channels, possibly impairing neurotransmission. Cobalt can also chelate lipoic acids, impairing oxidation of pyruvate or fatty acids. In addition, cobalt may inhibit DNA repair by interacting with zinc finger DNA repair proteins, and has also been shown to inhibit heme synthesis and glucose metabolism. Cobalt may activate specific helper T-lymphocyte cells and interact directly with immunologic proteins, such as antibodies (IgA and IgE) or Fc receptors, resulting in immunosensitization. Radioactive cobalt damages DNA, RNA, and lipids through ionizing events. (L29) | Cobalt inhibits heme synthesis by preventing synthesis of 5-aminolaevulinate via inhibition of 5-aminolaevulinate synthase. (L22)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Membrane"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Lithium cobalt oxide is used in lithium-ion batteries. (L38)

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  Exposure Routes

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