Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Mammalian sensitivity to elemental gold (Auo)

  • Ronald Eisler
Review Article


There is increasing documentation of allergic contact dermatitis and other effects from gold jewelry, gold dental restorations, and gold implants. These effects were especially pronounced among females wearing, body-piercing gold objects. One estimate of the prevalence of gold allergy worldwide is 13%, as judged by patch tests with monovalent organogold salts. Eczema of the head and neck was the most common response of individuals hypersensitive to gold, and, sensitivity can last for at least several years. Ingestion of beverages containing flake gold can result in allergic-type reactions similar to those seen in goldallergic individuals exposed to gold through dermal contact and other routes. Studies with small laboratory mammals and injected doses of colloidal gold showed increased body temperatures, accumulations in reticular cells, and dose enhancement in tumor therapy; gold implants were associated with tissue injuries. It is proposed that Auo toxicity to mammals is associated, in part, with formation of the more reactive Au+ and Au3+ species.

Index Entries

Elemental gold monovalent gold trivalent gold human health contact dermatitis mammalian sensitivity 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Eisler
    • 1
  1. 1.US Geological SurveyPatuxent Wildlife Research CenterLaurel

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