Summary of The Toxicity Of Nickel Compounds

Just as the pharmacokinetics of chemical nickel species are influenced by their physical and chemical properties, concentration and route of exposure, so too are the toxic effects of nickel. Although a number of nickel-related effects, including renal and reproductive effects, have occasionally been reported, the main effects noted in humans are respiratory and dermal. Consequently, the major routes of toxicological relevance in the workplace are inhalation and skin contact.

In most work environments, the potential chronic toxicity of various nickel species is likely to be of more concern than acute effects, with the exception of nickel carbonyl. Long-term exposures to some nickel compounds have been associated with excess lung and nasal sinus cancers. The major source of evidence for this association comes from studies of workers who were employed in certain nickel-refining operations. On the whole, these workers were generally exposed to higher concentrations of nickel than those that prevail in many workplaces today. These workers were also exposed to a variety of other potentially carcinogenic substances, including arsenic compounds, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and sulfuric acid mists. These concurrent exposures make a direct-causeand- effect interpretation of the data difficult, although in some instances, the animal data help to shed light on the potential carcinogenic role, if any, played by different nickel species. Summarized below are the respiratory and dermal effects associated with exposure to individual nickel species.

  1. Summary of the Toxicity of Metallic Nickel 
  2. Summary of Nickel Metal Alloys 
  3. Summary of the Toxicity of Soluble Nickel 
  4. Summary of the Toxicity of Oxidic Nickel
  5. Summary of the Toxicity of Sulfidic Nickel
  6. Summary of the Toxicity of Nickel Carbonyl