Biological Monitoring of Toxic Metals

Part of the series Rochester Series on Environmental Toxicity pp 469-478

Mechanisms of Indium, Thallium, and Arsine Gas Toxicity: Relationships to Biological Indicators of Cell Injury

  • Bruce A. FowlerAffiliated withNational Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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In comparison with other metals and metalloids, relatively little is known about the mechanisms by which elements such as indium and thallium, of Group III of the Periodic Table of elements, produce cell injury. Arsine gas (ASH3) has been known for centuries to be a potent hemolytic agent but the exact mechanism of this effect is still not understood at the molecular level. In recent years, the use of compounds containing some of the Group III elements and arsenic generated by processes utilizing arsine gas has expanded greatly due to the excellent electrical properties of these materials. This change in both the qualitative and quantitative patterns of use for these elements has increased the need for basic mechanistic toxicity data on Group III elements and arsine gas in relation to development of early biological indicators for assessing both exposure and toxicity.