Bismuth (209 a.m.u.) – low-toxic tracer element. Not vital by present standards. Intaken with food and water, absorption in gastro-intestinal tract is low (approx. 5% of the intaken amount) and depends on solubility of bismuth salts.
Sources of bismuth could be cosmetics (lipstick), some drugs (De-Nol, vikalin, vikair, biochinol, etc.), glass and ceramics colorants, dental restoration material. Insoluble bismuth compounds are excreted with excrements, soluble – with urine after absorption in blood.
In human body bismuth is being deposed in kidneys, liver, spleen and bone tissue. Being excreted through gastro-intestinal tract, with urine and sweat. Excretion process is very long. Bismuth carcinogenicity level is not established.
Bismuth intoxication could be caused by long-lasting treatment of high doses of bismuth salts. Workers of cosmetics, disinfectants, colorants manufacturing could be exposed to impact of high doses of bismuth.
Chronic intoxication symptoms include weakness, decreased appetite, fervescence, rheumatic pain, respiratory distress, kidneys diseases, diarrhea, black gum limbus, osseous lesion. Signs of cerebrospinal system damages could be caused by high concentrations. One of the main signs – “bismuthal limbus” – inflammation of gum borders caused by concretion of bismuth sulphide. Damages of urinary tracts are also possible. Bismuth concentration in hair doesn’t always reflect level of its effect on the body.