Lithium, Elemental

CAS RN: 7439-93-2

Toxicity Summary

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: Elemental lithium is a silver white metal; body centered cubic structure it becomes yellowish on exposure to moist air and it reacts with water. It is soluble in liquid ammonia forming a blue solution. It is used in the manufacture of catalysts for polyolefin plastics; in fuels for aircraft and missiles.It is used in metallurgy, as a degasifier, deoxidizer, desulfurizer; as a grain refiner in non-ferrous metals. Chemical intermediate for butyllithium polymerization catalyst; in alloys with aluminum or magnesium for aerospace uses. It is used in the production of tritium, reducing and hydrogenating agents, alloy hardeners, pharmaceuticals and Grignard reagents. Scavenger and degassifier for stainless and mild steels in molten state, modular iron, soaps and greases, deoxidizer in copper and copper alloys, heat-transfer liquid, storage batteries (with sulfur, selenium, tellurium, and chlorine). Rocket propellants, vitamin A synthesis, silver solders, underwater bouyancy devices, nuclear reactor coolent. HUMAN EXPOSURE AND TOXICITY: Elemental lithium causes severe eye and skin burns. Industrial exposures to lithium may occur during extraction of lithium from its ores, preparation of various lithium compounds, welding, brazing, enameling, and from the use of lithium hydrides. ANIMAL STUDIES: No animal studies could be located.
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