Osmium: biological information
Osmium has no biological role. Osmium oxide, OsO4, is highly toxic, and boils at 130°C (760 mm). Concentrations in air as low as 10-7 g m-3 can cause lung congestion, skin damage, and severe eye damage.
Levels in humans
- Human abundance by weight: (no data) ppb by weight
- Human abundance by atoms: (no data) atoms relative to C = 1000000
How much osmium is in your body? Find out here.
You can use this form to calculate how much osmium 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 osmium:
Osmium metal does not normally cause problems as it is relatively unreactive but all osmium compounds should be regarded as highly toxic. The metal dust is an irritant and presents a fire and explosion hazard. Osmium oxide, OsO4, is highly toxic, and boils at 130°C (760 mm). Concentrations in air as low as 10-7 g m-3 can cause lung congestion, skin damage, and severe eye damage. The oxide, in particular, should only ever be handled by a properly qualified chemist.
- 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.