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Gallium poisoning: a rare case report.

Ivanoff, Chris S; Ivanoff, Athena E; Hottel, Timothy L.
Food Chem Toxicol; 50(2): 212-5, 2012 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22024274
The authors present a case of a college student who suffered acute gallium poisoning as a result of accidental exposure to gallium halide complexes. This is extremely rare and has never been reported in the literature. Acute symptoms after the incident, which initially presented as dermatitis and appeared relatively not life-threatening, rapidly progressed to dangerous episodes of tachycardia, tremors, dyspnea, vertigo, and unexpected black-outs. Had there been effective emergency medical care protocols, diagnostic testing, treatment and antidotes, the latent manifestations of irreversible cardiomyopathy may have been prevented. Given how quickly exposure led to morbidity, this article aims to raise an awareness of the toxic potential of gallium. This has particular relevance for workers involved in the production of semiconductors where there is a potential for accidental exposure to gallium by-products during device processing. It may also have implications for dentists who use gallium alloys to replace mercury containing amalgam. In the absence of threshold limit values and exposure limits for humans, as well as emergency medical guidelines for treatment of poisoning, the case calls on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish guidelines and medical management protocols specific for gallium.