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Friday, 11 February 2011 21:29

Rhenium

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Gunnar Nordberg

Occurrence and Uses

Rhenium (Re) is found in the combined state in platinum ores, gadolinite, molybdenite (MoS2) and columbite. It is found in some sulphide ores. It is a rare element making up about 0.001 ppm of the Earth’s crust.

Rhenium is used in electron tubes and in semiconductor applications. It is also used as a highly selective catalyst for hydrogenation and dehydrogenation. Rhenium-tagged antibodies have been used experimentally to treat adenocarcinomas of the colon, lung and ovary. Rhenium is used in medical instruments, in high-vacuum equipment, and in alloys for electrical contacts and thermocouples. It is also used for plating of jewellery.

Rhenium is alloyed with tungsten and molybdenum to improve their workability.

Hazards

Chronic toxic manifestations are not known. Some compounds, such as rhenium hexafluoride, are irritating to the skin and eye. In experimental animals, inhalation of rhenium dust causes pulmonary fibrosis. Rhenium VII sulphide ignites spontaneously in air and emits toxic fumes of oxides of sulphur when heated. Hexamethyl rhenium presents a serious explosion hazard and should be handled with extreme caution.

 

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More in this category: « Platinum Rhodium »

Contents

Preface
Part I. The Body
Part II. Health Care
Part III. Management & Policy
Part IV. Tools and Approaches
Part V. Psychosocial and Organizational Factors
Part VI. General Hazards
Part VII. The Environment
Part VIII. Accidents and Safety Management
Part IX. Chemicals
Using, Storing and Transporting Chemicals
Minerals and Agricultural Chemicals
Metals: Chemical Properties and Toxicity
Resources
Part X. Industries Based on Biological Resources
Part XI. Industries Based on Natural Resources
Part XII. Chemical Industries
Part XIII. Manufacturing Industries
Part XIV. Textile and Apparel Industries
Part XV. Transport Industries
Part XVI. Construction
Part XVII. Services and Trade
Part XVIII. Guides

Metals: Chemical Properties and Toxicity Additional Resources

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Metals: Chemical Properties and Toxicity References

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995. Case Studies in Environmental Medicine: Lead Toxicity. Atlanta: ATSDR.

Brief, RS, JW Blanchard, RA Scala, and JH Blacker. 1971. Metal carbonyls in the petroleum industry. Arch Environ Health 23:373–384.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 1990. Chromium, Nickel and Welding. Lyon: IARC.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 1994. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-116. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

Rendall, REG, JI Phillips and KA Renton. 1994. Death following exposure to fine particulate nickel from a metal arc process. Ann Occup Hyg 38:921–930.

Sunderman, FW, Jr., and A Oskarsson,. 1991. Nickel. In Metals and their compounds in the environment, edited by E Merian, Weinheim, Germany: VCH Verlag.

Sunderman, FW, Jr., A Aitio, LO Morgan, and T Norseth. 1986. Biological monitoring of nickel. Tox Ind Health 2:17–78.

United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. 1995. Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, 9th edition. New York: United Nations.