The German word kobalt came to French as cobalt, which later became cobalt. Cobalt is the chemical element whose symbol is Co and its atomic number is 27. It is a metal that, due to its properties, resembles iron.
Cobalt has a reduced presence in the crust of our planet: it is generally found as arsenide or sulfur in different minerals. In mammalian animals, cobalt is one of the essential chemical elements since it is vital, although in small quantities.
With a grayish or bluish-white or reddish hue, cobalt has been used in various ways for thousands of years. This metal has been used since ancient times to color ceramics, enamels and glass. A well-known dye, in fact, is called cobalt blue. Cobalt is also used in glass production and in the metallurgical industry.
The science has undertaken to characterize more than twenty radioisotope cobalt: ie radioisotopes of this chemical element. Among the most stable is Cobalt 60 (Co-60), which has various medical and industrial uses.
Cobalt 60 allows radiotherapy and sterilization of medical equipment. In this context, the cobalt bomb is called the device that uses cobalt 60 radiation for the purpose of developing a localized treatment of certain diseases.
It should be noted that an increase in the level of cobalt in the body can cause intoxication with various negative consequences, while a decrease generates megaloblastic anemia.
Humans need a small amount of cobalt to maintain their health. When exposed to this element in excess, poisoning can take place, and there are three possible fundamental ways: allow it to come in contact with the skin for a long time, inhale it or ingest it in considerable quantities.
In recent times, on the other hand, many cases of cobalt poisoning have been reported due to the deterioration and breakage of certain hip implants made with this material.
This implant consists of an artificial cavity in which a ball is embedded in a cup, both components made of metal; Over time, cobalt particles may be released as a result of the friction between them that occurs when walking. If the particles are released into the bloodstream, then poisoning occurs.
One of the most important vitamins for our body, B12, has cobalt among its components, and this proves that many times we get intoxicated by consuming too much food, supplements or substances that are recommended to us to take care of our health. Among the everyday objects in which we can also find cobalt are batteries (also called batteries), glassware, saw blades, drill bits, dyes and magnets.
At one time, cobalt was used in beer recipes as a foam stabilizer. This resulted in a condition called “beer drinking heart,” which caused myocardial weakness.
It is important to point out that for the symptoms of poisoning to appear, it is necessary to be exposed to cobalt in high amounts for several weeks or even months; however, just ingesting it in excess once can also appear. Although the latter does not usually happen or is very dangerous, since the consequences can be vomiting or nausea, consuming it in excess for a long time if it can lead to symptoms of considerable severity, such as:
* cardiomyopathy, a disorder characterized by an overgrowth of the heart, which becomes flaccid and does not pump blood easily;
* considerable decrease in hearing;
* thickening of the blood.