Acta Medica Medianae
18000 Niš, Srbija
Copyright 2007 by Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL AND PATHOGENETIC ASPECTS OF NICKEL POISONING
Vladimir Ilic1, Vladmila Bojanic2 and Biljana Jovic3
Bonifar Novi Beograd 1
Laboratory for biochemistry, Military Hospital in Nis3
Nickel is widely distributed in the environment. High consumption of nickel containing products inevitably leads to environmental pollution by nickel and its derivatives at all stages of production, utilization, and disposal.
Human exposure to nickel occurs primarily via inhalation and ingestion and is particularly high among nickel metallurgy workers. In addition, implantation of nickel-containing endoprostheses and iatrogenic administration of nickel-contaminated medica-tions leads to significant parenteral exposures. Exposure to nickel compounds can produce a variety of adverse effects on human health. Nickel allergy in the form of contact dermatitis is the most common reaction.
A frontal headache, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and irritability are the most common signs of acute poisoning with nickel compounds. The respiratory tract, kidneys and liver suffer the most significant changes like nickel pneumoconiosis, chronic rhinitis and sinonasal tumors and transitory nephropathy. Although the accumulation of nickel in the body through chronic exposure can lead to lung fibrosis, cardiovascular and kidney diseases, the most serious concerns relate to nickel’s carcinogenic activity. Nickel compounds are carcinogenic to humans and metallic nickel is possibly carcinogenic to humans. Acta Medica Medianae 2007;46(2): 37-44.
Key words: poisoning, toxicity, nickel, epidemiology, cancerogenesis