Cobalt, radioactive

Major Uses

Little use if made of pure cobalt except as a source of radioactivity from cobalt-60. The radionuclide is used in cancer radiotherapy, as a high-energy gamma source for the radiography of metallic objects and other solids, as a food irradiation source for sterilization, or as an injectable radionuclide for the measurement of flow rates in pipes. /Cobalt-60/
Industrial irradiators containing cobalt-60 or cesium-137 as radioactive sources are used to sterilize medical products, meat, fresh vegetables and other foodstuffs. Although physically small (approximately 1 cm x 50 cm), the radioactive sources or pencils in irradiators are highly radioactive. Individual cobalt pencils can have an activity of 500 TBq and an irradiator facility may have an array of cobalt pencils totalling up to a few hundred PBq. /Cobalt-60/
As cobalamin tracer /Cobalt-57/
Used for sterilization and preservation purposes /Cobalt-60/
Cobalt-60 to sterilize medical instruments and devices, as x-ray source for food irradiation; in industrial radiography for non-destructive testing of high stress alloy parts; to crosslink, graft and degrade plastics. /Cobalt-60/
(57)-Cobaltous chloride (half-life 271.79 days, pure gamma emitter) used in Mossbauer effect (nuclear clock). /(57)-Cobaltous chloride/
In the cobalt bomb, a hydrogen bomb surrounded by a cobalt metal shell; considered a "dirty bomb" because of long half-life and intense beta- and gamma radiation.
In the United States, the irradiation source for food is most commonly cobalt-60 ... . /Cobalt-60/
Biological and medical research. /Cobalt-58/
Radiation therapy (cancer), radiographic testing of welds and castings, as a source of ions in gas-discharge devices, as the radiation source in liquid-level gauges, for locating buried telephone and electrical conduits, portable radiation units, gamma-irradiation for wheat and potatoes, as a research aid in studying the permeability of porous media to flow of oil, wearing quality of floor wax, oil consumption in internal-combustion engines, wool dyeing, etc. /Cobalt-60/
Biological research. /Cobalt-57/
Cobalt-57. Used in nuclear medicine to help physicians interpret diagnostic scans of patients' organs, and to diagnose pernicious anemia.
Cobalt-60. Used to sterilize surgical instruments; to improve the safety and reliability of industrial fuel oil burners; and to preserve poultry, fruits and spices.
Terrorism involving radioactive materials includes improvised nuclear devices, radiation exposure devices, contamination of food sources, radiation dispersal devices, or an attack on a nuclear power plant or a facility/vehicle that houses radioactive materials. Ionizing radiation removes electrons from atoms and changes the valence of the electrons enabling chemical reactions with elements that normally do not occur. Ionizing radiation includes alpha rays, beta rays, gamma rays, and neutron radiation. The effects of radiation consist of stochastic and deterministic effects. Cancer is the typical example of a stochastic effect of radiation. Deterministic effects include acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The hallmarks of ARS are damage to the skin, gastrointestinal tract, hematopoietic tissue, and in severe cases the neurovascular structures. Radiation produces psychological effects in addition to physiological effects. Radioisotopes relevant to terrorism include titrium, americium 241, cesium 137, cobalt 60, iodine 131, plutonium 238, califormium 252, iridium 192, uranium 235, and strontium 90. Medications used for treating a radiation exposure include antiemetics, colony-stimulating factors, antibiotics, electrolytes, potassium iodine, and chelating agents.
MEDICATION: Cobalt-60 as an antineoplastic (radiation source).
Radioactive isotopes of cobalt provide the following diagnostic and treatment tools: medical radioisotopes, industrial radiography (analysis of weld integrity), food irradiation, and concrete density measurements.
/Athough other drug products containing cobalt salts/ were withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products were found to be unsafe or not effective ... radioactive forms and its salts and cobalamin and its derivatives /remain approved by FDA/. /Radioactive forms of cobalt/
Find more information on this substance at: PubChem, PubMed