Cobalt

CAS ID#: 7440-48-4

Affected Organ Systems: Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessels), Developmental (effects during periods when organs are developing) , Hematological (Blood Forming), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)

Cancer Classification:  Please contact NTP, IARC, or EPA with questions on cancer and cancer classification.

Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances, Radionuclides (radioactive materials)

Summary: Cobalt is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. Cobalt is used to produce alloys used in the manufacture of aircraft engines, magnets, grinding and cutting tools, artificial hip and knee joints. Cobalt compounds are also used to color glass, ceramics and paints, and used as a drier for porcelain enamel and paints. Radioactive cobalt is used for commercial and medical purposes. 60Co (read as cobalt sixty) is used for sterilizing medical equipment and consumer products, radiation therapy for treating cancer patients, manufacturing plastics, and irradiating food. 57Co is used in medical and scientific research. It takes about 5.27 years for half of 60Co to give off its radiation and about 272 days for 57Co; this is called the half-life.

Community Members
Community Members

ToxFAQs - Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.

Public Health Statement - Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.

National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals - Provides an ongoing assessment of the exposure of the U.S. population to environmental chemicals using biomonitoring.

Toxicological and Health Professionals
Toxicological and Health Professionals

Toxicological Profile - Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.

Priority List of Hazardous Substances - Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

Minimal Risk Levels (MRL) - The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse, non-cancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. The information in this MRL serves as a screening tool to help public health professionals decide where to look more closely to evaluate possible risk of adverse health effects from human exposure.

Interaction Profiles - Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for mixtures of hazardous substances.

Page last reviewed: February 10, 2021