Antimony (121,7 a.m.u.) Antimony is not a vital element, but could stimulate physiologic processes in small doses, just like arsenic does. Since ancient ages antimony compounds were used as cosmetic agent and for treatment purposes. Nowadays antimony is being widely used in chemical and polygraph production, to produce accumulator batteries, semiconductors, bearings, cables. Organic compounds of antimony are used as fungicides. Antimony agents are used in medicine to treat leishmaniosis and several helminthiases.
Toxicity of antimony compounds depends on doses and way of intake. Acute intoxication with antimony compounds could happen in cases of intake of some therapeutic agents and under manufacturing conditions: metallic taste, headaches, sickness, then vomit, diarrhoea and gastric spasms.
In cases of chronic intoxication one could indicate cardiac arrhythmia, inflammations of respiratory passages and eyes mucosa, dermatitis, if patient is pregnant – spontaneous abortions, premature birth. Workers of ore extraction and processing plants are exposed of increased risk of professional intoxication with antimony. Antimony absorption from lungs is happening faster than in gastro-intestinal tract. Speed and way of excretion depends on forms of its compounds. Increased concentration of antimony in hair is indicating recent and long-period chronic exposition to this element.