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Name Description
id 88
T3DB ID T3D0101
Name Thorium
Class SmallMolecule
Description Thorium is a natural radioactive chemical element with the symbol Th and atomic number 90. In nature, virtually all thorium is found as thorium-232, and it decays by emitting an alpha particle, and has a half-life of about 14.05 billion years (other, trace-level isotopes of thorium are short-lived intermediates of decay chains). It is estimated to be about four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth's crust and is a by-product of the extraction of rare earths from monazite sands. -- Wikipedia.
Categories "Industrial/Workplace Toxin", "Pollutant", "Airborne Pollutant", "Food Toxin", "Natural Toxin"
Types "Inorganic Compound", "Metal", "Radioactive Isotope", "Thorium Compound", "Pollutant", "Food Toxin", "Metabolite", "Industrial/Workplace Toxin", "Natural Compound", "Radioactive"
Synonyms "232Th", "90Th", "Thorium 232", "Thorium, isotope of mass 232", "Thorium-232"
CAS Number 7440-29-1
Chemical Formula Th
Average Molecular Mass 232.04
Monoisotopic Mass 232.04
IUPAC Name thorium
Traditional Name thorium
InChI Identifier InChI=1S/Th
Kingdom Inorganic Compounds
Super Class Homogeneous Metal Compounds
Class Homogeneous Actinide Compounds
Sub Class
Direct Parent Homogeneous Actinide Compounds
Alternate Parents
Geometric Description Acyclic Compounds
Substituents "Acyclic Compound", "Homogeneous Actinide"
Descriptors "actinoid atom (ChEBI)", "f-block element atom (ChEBI)"
Status Detected and Quantified
Origin Exogenous
Cellular Locations "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
Biofluids "Urine"
State Solid
Appearance Thorium is an air-stable silvery-white solid metal. (L1094)
Melting Point 2115°K (1842°C, 3348°F)
Boiling Point 5061°K (4788?°C, 8650?°F)
Route of Exposure Inhalation (L1094)
Mechanism of Toxicity The ionizing radiation produced by thorium causes cellular damage that includes DNA breakage, accurate or inaccurate repair, apoptosis, gene mutations, chromosomal change, and genetic instability. This leads to loss of normal cell and tissue homeostasis, and development of malignancy. Ionizing radiation that does not directly damage DNA can produce reactive oxygen intermediates that directly affect the stability of p53, an important enzyme in cell-cycle regulation, and produce oxidative damage to individual bases in DNA and point mutations by mispairing during DNA replication. (L1837)
Metabolism Exposure to thorium can occur following inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. Once in the body thorium accumulates mainly in the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, lungs, and bone. Transferrin plays a major role in the transport and cellular uptake of thorium. Thorium may combine with oxygen to form thorotrast (thorium dioxide), a colloid which may affect protein uptake. Thorium and thorotrast are excreted mainly in the faeces. (L1838)
Lethal Dose
Carcinogenicity 1, carcinogenic to humans. (L135)
Uses/Sources Thorium can also be used as a fuel for generating nuclear energy. Thorium is used as an alloying element in magnesium, used in aircraft engines, imparting high strength and creep resistance at elevated temperatures. Thorium is also used as an alloying agent in gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) to increase the melting temperature of tungsten electrodes and improve arc stability. Thorium is used to coat tungsten wire used in electronic equipment, improving the electron emission of heated cathodes. Thorium is used as a fertile material for producing nuclear fuel. Thorium is a very effective radiation shield, although it has not been used for this purpose as much as lead or depleted uranium. Uranium-thorium age dating has been used to date hominid fossils. (L1094)
Minimum Risk Level
Health Effects Lungs and other internal organs can be penetrated by the alpha radiation produced by thorium. As a result, exposure to an aerosol of thorium can lead to increased risk of cancers of the lung, pancreas and blood. Exposure to thorium internally leads to increased risk of liver diseases. (L1094)
Symptoms Exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation results in acute radiation syndrome, which can cause skin burns, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, disorientation, low blood pressure, headache, fatigue, weakness, fever, birth defects, illness, infection, and death. (L1837, L1852)
Treatment Treatment reversing the effects of irradiation is currently not possible. Anaesthetics and antiemetics are administered to counter the symptoms of exposure, as well as antibiotics for countering secondary infections due to the resulting immune system deficiency. (L1852)
DrugBank ID
PubChem Compound ID 23960
ChemSpider ID 22399
KEGG Compound ID C19157
UniProt ID 0
ChEBI ID 33385
BioCyc ID
CTD ID D013910
Stitch ID Thorium
ACToR ID 7977
Wikipedia Link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium
Creation Date 2009-03-06 18:58:05
Update Date 2014-12-24 20:21:06