Lithium - Precautions

Precautions

NFPA 704
0 3 2 W
The fire diamond hazard sign for lithium metal

Lithium is corrosive and requires special handling to avoid skin contact. Breathing lithium dust or lithium compounds (which are often alkaline) initially irritate the nose and throat, while higher exposure can cause a buildup of fluid in the lungs, leading to pulmonary edema. The metal itself is a handling hazard because of the caustic hydroxide produced when it is in contact with moisture. Lithium is safely stored in non-reactive compounds such as naphtha.

There have been suggestions of increased risk of developing Ebstein's cardiac anomaly in infants born to women taking lithium during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Read more about this topic:  Lithium

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