Biological Monitoring of Cobalt

  • L. Alessio
  • A. Dell’Orto
Part of the Rochester Series on Environmental Toxicity book series (RSET)


Cobalt is a gray, hard, magnetic, and ductile metal. It is a relatively rare element; the quantity contained in the earth’s crust is about 23 ppm, rising to 100 ppm at ground level. About 60 percent of the world’s production of cobalt comes from the mines in Zaire, and to a lesser extent from Zambia, Canada, and the United States (Payne, 1977). The main sources of human absorption are diet and occupational exposure. Cobalt is an essential metal for humans and is found in certain vegetables in quantities varying from a few hundredths of ppm to 0.7 ppm (Stokinger, 1981). Low concentrations of cobalt have been found in drinking water, usually between 0.1 and 5 μg/1 (Schroeder et al., 1967).


Biological Monitoring Hard Metal Cobalt Concentration Exposed Subject Threshold Limit Value 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Alessio
    • 1
  • A. Dell’Orto
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Occupational HealthUniversity of Brescia, Piazzale Spedali Civili, 1BresciaItaly

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