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Lithium in Ceramics
- There is no
described professional intoxication from the use of this element.
- Data on its
toxicity to man come from its use as the treatment of choice in
manic-depressive states, and from suicidal attempts.
- Treatment with
lithium carbonate may cause the following :
- -Feeling of
- -Vision troubles,
- -Tremors of the
- 2-More severe
disorders, tremors, muscular fasciculations,
tendon reflexes, dysarthria, giddinesses.
intoxication leads to convulsions and coma which can be
nephritis, incomplete distal tubular acidosis,
- -Hyperparathyroidism (hypercalcemia),
- -Disturbances of
the glucose metabolism, obesity,
cutaneous lesions (psoriasis, acne, folliculitis, alopecia, etc.)
manifestations may occur when the serum concentration exceeds
- A concentration
higher than 25mg/L justifies treatment by dialysis.(1)
- The toxic and
therapeutic blood levels are very close, so any activity leading
to loosing much body water may switch a patient taking lithium
carbonate form the therapeutic to the toxic zone, as in sweating
excessively in melting departments of steel mills.
- Also many
anti-inflammatory drugs raise lithium blood levels of patients and
may cause the intoxication, one major offender being ibuprofen (
Motrin, Advil). It is important to remember this name because it
may be sold without a prescription.
- Other possible
offenders are ketorolac (Toradol), diclofenac (Voltaren),
indomethacin (Indocid), naproxen (Naprosyn), fenoprofen (Nalfon),
celexobib (Celebrex), rofecoxib (Vioxx). (2)
- There is no such
thing as a single case of lithium intoxication described in the
pertaining literature from the use of it in glaze making or from
the use of ceramic wares covered by lithium-containing
- The only lithium
compound that is reported as a severe hazard is lithium hydride
(LiH), which is used as a condensing agent in chemical synthesis
with acid esters and ketones, as a dessicant (a reducing agent),
and as a hydrogen source.
- The hydride is a
severe irritant to skin and mucous membranes because it becomes
lithium hydroxide when in contact with moisture of these
- So, if you do not
use the hydride, have a nice day.
- 1- Toxicologie
Industrielle et Intoxications Professionnelles, Lauwerys R. last
- 2- Sylvie
Dumaine, pharmacist, Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, Canada (2002)
Occupational Medicine, Zenz Carl, last edition.
Out Bound Links
In Bound Links
Edouard Bastarache M.D.
Occupational & Environmental Medicine
Author of "Substitutions for Raw Ceramic Materials"
Tracy, QuÃ©bec, CANADA