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Record Information
Creation Date2012-05-18 14:04:05 UTC
Update Date2017-09-25 12:07:06 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB13724
StatusDetected and Quantified
Metabolite Identification
Common NameThallium
DescriptionA mercury-thallium alloy, which forms a eutectic at 8.5% thallium, is reported to freeze at -60 C, some 20 °C below the freezing point of mercury. This alloy is used in thermometers and low-temperature switches. In organic synthesis thallium(III) salts, as thallium trinitrate or triacetate, are useful reagents performing different transformations in aromatics, ketones, olefins, among others. Thallium is a constituent of the alloy in the anode plates in magnesium seawater batteries. Soluble thallium salts are added to gold plating baths to increase the speed of plating and to reduce grain size within the gold layer. A thallium stress test is a form of scintigraphy, where the amount of thallium in tissues correlates with tissue blood supply. Viable cardiac cells have normal Na+/K+ ion exchange pumps. The Tl+ cation binds the K+ pumps and is transported into the cells. Exercise or dipyridamole induces widening (vasodilation) of normal coronary arteries. This produces coronary steal from areas where arteries are maximally dilated. Areas of infarct or ischemic tissue will remain "cold". Pre- and post-stress thallium may indicate areas which will benefit from myocardial revascularization. Redistribution indicates the existence of coronary steal and the presence of ischemic coronary artery disease. Although thallium is a modestly abundant element in the Earth's crust, with a concentration estimated to be about 0.7 mg/kg, mostly in association with potassium-based minerals in clays, soils, and granites, thallium is not generally economically recoverable from these sources. The major source of thallium for practical purposes is the trace amount that is found in copper, lead, zinc, and other heavy-metal-sulfide ores. One of the main methods of removing thallium (both radioactive and normal) from humans is to use Prussian blue, which is a material which absorbs thallium. Up to 20 g per day of Prussian blue is fed by mouth to the person, and it passes through their digestive system and comes out in the stool. Hemodialysis and hemoperfusion are also used to remove thallium from the blood serum. At later stage of the treatment additional potassium is used to mobilize thallium from the tissue. Thallium is a chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81. This soft gray poor metal resembles tin but discolors when exposed to air. Chemists William Crookes and Claude-Auguste Lamy discovered thallium independently in 1861 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy. Each discovered the new element in residues of sulfuric acid production. Thallium and its compounds are extremely toxic, and should be handled with great care. There are numerous recorded cases of fatal thallium poisoning. Contact with skin is dangerous, and adequate ventilation should be provided when melting this metal. Thallium(I) compounds have a high aqueous solubility and are readily absorbed through the skin. Exposure to them should not exceed 0.1 mg per m2 of skin in an 8-hour time-weighted average (40-hour work week). Thallium is a suspected human carcinogen. For a long time thallium compounds were easily available as rat poison. This fact and that it is water soluble and nearly tasteless led to frequent intoxications caused by accident or criminal intent. Thallium can also be obtained from the smelting of lead and zinc ores. Manganese nodules found on the ocean floor also contain some thallium, but the collection of these nodules has been and continues to be prohibitively expensive. There is also the potential for damaging the environment of the oceans. In addition, several other thallium minerals, containing 16% to 60% thallium, occur in nature as complexes of sulfides or selenides that primarily contain antimony, arsenic, copper, lead, and/or silver. However, these minerals are rare, and they have had no commercial importance as sources of thallium. The Allchar deposit in southern Macedonia was the only area where thallium was ever actively mined. This deposit still contains a loosely estimated 500 tonnes of thallium, and it is a source for several rare thallium minerals, for example lorandite. The compounds with oxidation state +3 resemble the corresponding aluminium(III) compounds. They are moderately strong oxidizing agents, as illustrated by the reduction potential of +0.72 volts for Tl3+. The thallium(III) oxide is a black solid which decomposes above 800 °C, forming the thallium(I) oxide and oxygen. The saturated solution of equal parts of thallium(I) formate (Tl(CHO2)) and thallium(I) malonate (Tl(C3H3O4)) in water is known as Clerici solution. It is a mobile odorless liquid whose color changes from yellowish to clear upon reducing the concentration of the thallium salts. With the density of 4.25 g/cm3 at 20 °C, Clerici solution is one of the heaviest aqueous solutions known. It was used in the 20th century for measuring density of minerals by the flotation method, but the use is discontinued due to the high toxicity and corrosiveness of the solution. The two main oxidation states of thallium are +1 and +3. In the oxidation state +1 most compounds closely resemble the corresponding potassium or silver compounds (the ionic radius of thallium(I) is 1.47 while that of potassium is 1.33 and that of silver is 1.26),[citation needed] which was the reason why thallium was sometimes considered to be an alkali metal in Europe (but not in England) in the years immediately following its discovery.:126 For example, the water-soluble and very basic thallium(I) hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide forming water-soluble thallium carbonate This carbonate is the only water soluble heavy metal carbonate.[citation needed] The similarity with silver compounds is observed with the halide, oxide, and sulfide compounds. Thallium(I) bromide is a photosensitive yellow compound very similar to the silver bromide, while the black thallium(I) oxide and thallium(I) sulfide are very similar to the silver oxide and silver sulfide.[citation needed]
Thallium chlorideChEBI
Thallous chlorideChEBI
Thallous chloride TL 201HMDB
Thallium chloride, (201)TL-labeledMeSH
Thallium chloride, (203)TL,(35)CL-labeledMeSH
Thallium chloride, (205)TL,(35)CL-labeledMeSH
Thallium monochlorideMeSH
Thallium chloride, (205)TL,(37)CL-labeledMeSH
Thallium chloride, (203)TL,(37)CL-labeledMeSH
Chemical FormulaClTl
Average Molecular Weight239.83
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight239.943281
IUPAC Namechlorothallane
Traditional Namethallous chloride
CAS Registry Number7440-28-0
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of chemical entities known as post-transition metal chlorides. These are inorganic compounds in which the largest halogen atom is Chlorine, and the heaviest metal atom is a post-transition metal.
KingdomChemical entities
Super ClassInorganic compounds
ClassMixed metal/non-metal compounds
Sub ClassPost-transition metal salts
Direct ParentPost-transition metal chlorides
Alternative Parents
  • Post-transition metal chloride
  • Inorganic chloride salt
  • Inorganic salt
Molecular FrameworkNot Available
External Descriptors
Physiological effect
Health effect:
Health condition:
Biological Location:
Biofluid and excreta:
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point303.5 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water SolubilityNot AvailableNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity6.14 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability4.35 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MSNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, NegativeNot Available
Biological Properties
Cellular LocationsNot Available
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Urine
Tissue LocationNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
No entries found
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.00067-0.00233 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.0015 +/- 0.00083 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodExpected but not Quantified Not AvailableNot Available
    SalivaDetected and Quantified0.004 +/- 0.00 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
      • Zerihun T. Dame, ...
    SalivaDetected and Quantified5.00000e-05 +/- 3.753e-05 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
    SalivaDetected and Quantified8.339e-05 +/- 5.420e-05 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
    SalivaDetected and Quantified6.254e-05 +/- 4.586e-05 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
    SalivaDetected and Quantified5.00000e-05 +/- 3.753e-05 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
    UrineDetected and Quantified0.0003 (0.0001-0.0013) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Both
    UrineDetected and Quantified<0.00659 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
    UrineDetected and Quantified0.000071 (0.0000669-0.000074) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal
      • National Health a...
    UrineDetected and Quantified0.000103 (0.0000938-0.000114) umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal
      • National Health a...
    Abnormal Concentrations
    BloodDetected and Quantified0.00104 +/- 0.000417 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothParkinson's disease details
    BloodDetected and Quantified0.0029 +/- 0.0046 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothMultiple sclerosis details
    BloodDetected and Quantified0.00083 +/- 0.00042 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothAlzheimer's disease details
    Associated Disorders and Diseases
    Disease References
    Alzheimer's disease
    1. Bocca B, Forte G, Petrucci F, Pino A, Marchione F, Bomboi G, Senofonte O, Giubilei F, Alimonti A: Monitoring of chemical elements and oxidative damage in patients affected by Alzheimer's disease. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2005;41(2):197-203. [PubMed:16244393 ]
    Multiple sclerosis
    1. Forte G, Visconti A, Santucci S, Ghazaryan A, Figa-Talamanca L, Cannoni S, Bocca B, Pino A, Violante N, Alimonti A, Salvetti M, Ristori G: Quantification of chemical elements in blood of patients affected by multiple sclerosis. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2005;41(2):213-6. [PubMed:16244395 ]
    Parkinson's disease
    1. Forte G, Alimonti A, Pino A, Stanzione P, Brescianini S, Brusa L, Sancesario G, Violante N, Bocca B: Metals and oxidative stress in patients with Parkinson's disease. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2005;41(2):189-95. [PubMed:16244392 ]
    Associated OMIM IDs
    DrugBank IDNot Available
    DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
    Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
    Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
    FoodDB IDNot Available
    KNApSAcK IDNot Available
    Chemspider ID23044
    KEGG Compound IDC15226
    BioCyc IDNot Available
    BiGG IDNot Available
    Wikipedia LinkThallium
    NuGOwiki LinkHMDB0013724
    METLIN IDNot Available
    PubChem Compound24642
    PDB IDNot Available
    ChEBI ID37117
    Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
    Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Not Available
    General ReferencesNot Available