Cobalt: biological information
Cobalt salts in small amounts are essential to many life forms, including humans. It is at the core of a vitamin called vitamin-B12. Grazing animals do not to do well in areas where there is little cobalt in the soil.
Levels in humans
- Human abundance by weight: 20 ppb by weight
- Human abundance by atoms: 2 atoms relative to C = 1000000
How much cobalt is in your body? Find out here.
You can use this form to calculate how much cobalt your body contains. Enter your weight in either kilograms or pounds and click the "Calculate" button. You must enter a number, not text! Elements for which there are no data will always give a value of zero for the weight, no matter what you put in the weight box.
Hazards and Risks
Hazards and risks associated with cobalt:
Cobalt metal powder is a fire hazard. Unless known otherwise, all cobalt compounds should be regarded as toxic although most are probably not particularly toxic. Some cobalt compounds may be carcinogenic.
- J.E. Huheey, E.A. Keiter, and R.L. Keiter in Inorganic Chemistry : Principles of Structure and Reactivity, 4th edition, HarperCollins, New York, USA, 1993.
- S. Budavari (Ed.) in The Merck Index, 11th ed., Merck, USA, 1989.
- N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.