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Record Information
Creation Date2009-03-06 18:58:18 UTC
Update Date2016-11-09 01:08:11 UTC
Accession NumberCHEM000192
Common NameAntimony
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionAntimony metal and many of its compounds have been known since ancient times, and its toxicity has periodically been a matter of comment. Antimony (stibium) is an element and a metalloid, with atomic number 51 and atomic weight 121.75. It is in Group Va of the Periodic Table along with arsenic, bismuth, nitrogen and phosphorus. Contact with antimony occurs in a variety of ways, and as it is a common element in the surface of the earth it may accompany exposures to many different materials. Antimony has been identified in at least 114 different ores, and has even been found in meteorites. A recurrent problem in assessing its toxicity industrially is that arsenic and lead are often found with it, and other toxic materials, for example sulfur dioxide, may also be produced in the course of the process, and separation of exposures may be difficult or impossible. Contact with antimony has also occurred from is use as a medicinal substance, from natural exposures, and from domestic sources. Antimony has been a constituent not only of printing-metal but also of lead acid batteries, pigments, an opacifier under glazes and enamels (the white oxide), and in the present day it has been used widely as a flame retardant in fabrics and in brake linings of motor cars. Large scale industrial production, largely of antimony oxide, began in the early 19th century. Physiologically, this metal/element exists as an ion in the body. The toxicology of antimony and its compounds is known from three sources: its medicinal use over centuries, studies of process workers in more recent times, and more recent still, studies of its presence in modern city environments and in domestic environments. Gross exposure to antimony compounds over long periods, usually the sulfide (SbS3) or the oxide (Sb2O3) has occurred in antimony miners and in antimony process workers. There have been relatively few of these, and few studies of possible symptoms have been made. Antimony sulfide imported from, at different times, China, South Africa, and South America was processed in the North-East of England from about 1870 to 2003. The process workers in North-East England have been studied at different times, notably by Sir Thomas Oliver in 1933, and by the Newcastle upon Tyne University Department of Occupational Medicine on later occasions. Studies which have been made of the working environment, and in particular of the risk of lung cancer in process workers, have underlined the high levels of exposure to antimony compounds and to other toxic materials. However, the working conditions in antimony processing have improved markedly over the last 30 years, and the workforce had been much reduced in numbers following automation of the process. Prior to the cessation of the industry in the UK it had become a white coat operation with relatively few people exposed to high concentrations of antimony. Antimony, which is normally present in domestic environments, has also been studied as a possible cause of cot death syndrome (SIDS) but extensive investigations have not confirmed this. The full importance of environmental antimony has still to be determined, and evidence of specific effects has not yet been presented. (2).
Contaminant Sources
  • Clean Air Act Chemicals
  • FooDB Chemicals
  • HMDB Contaminants - Urine
  • HPV EPA Chemicals
  • T3DB toxins
  • Tobacco Smoke Compounds
Contaminant Type
  • Antimony Compound
  • Food Toxin
  • Household Toxin
  • Industrial/Workplace Toxin
  • Inorganic Compound
  • Metabolite
  • Metal
  • Metalloid
  • Natural Compound
  • Pollutant
Chemical Structure
Antimony, ion (SB(3+))ChEBI
Antimony blackHMDB
Antimony elementHMDB
Chemical FormulaSb
Average Molecular Mass121.760 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass120.904 g/mol
CAS Registry Number7440-36-0
IUPAC Nameantimony(3+) ion
Traditional Nameantimony(3+) ion
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/Sb/q+3
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as homogeneous metalloid compounds. These are inorganic compounds containing only metal atoms,with the largest atom being a metalloid atom.
KingdomInorganic compounds
Super ClassHomogeneous metal compounds
ClassHomogeneous metalloid compounds
Sub ClassNot Available
Direct ParentHomogeneous metalloid compounds
Alternative ParentsNot Available
  • Homogeneous metalloid
Molecular FrameworkNot Available
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue LocationsNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological RolesNot Available
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceWhite powder.
Experimental Properties
Melting Point630°C
Boiling Point1635°C (2975°F)
SolubilityNot Available
Predicted Properties
Physiological Charge3ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity0 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability1.78 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-004i-0900000000-f838159747de83d607aaView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-004i-0900000000-f838159747de83d607aaView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-004i-0900000000-f838159747de83d607aaView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-004i-0900000000-c291a29e512d9d5b8686View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-004i-0900000000-c291a29e512d9d5b8686View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-004i-0900000000-c291a29e512d9d5b8686View in MoNA
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureInhalation (7) ; oral (7) ; dermal (7)
Mechanism of ToxicityThe inhalation data suggests that the myocardium is a target of antimony toxicity. It is possible that antimony affects circulating glucose by interfering with enzymes of the glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis pathways. The mechanism of action of antimony remains unclear. However, some studies suggest that antimony combines with sulfhydryl groups including those in several enzymes important for tissue respiration. The antidotal action of BAL (2,3-dimercaptopropanol) depends on its ability to prevent or break the union between antimony and vital enzymes. Moreover, the cause of death is believed to be essentially the same as that in acute arsenic poisoning. (3, 7, 1)
MetabolismAbsorbed antimony is transported to various tissue compartments of the body via the blood; the highest levels are found in the hair and skin; the adrenal glands, lung, large intestine, trachea, cerebellum, and kidneys also contain relatively high levels of antimony. Antimony can covalently interact with sulfhydryl groups and phosphate, as well as numerous reversible binding interactions with endogenous ligands (e.g., proteins). It is not known if these interactions are toxicologically significant. Antimony is a metal and, therefore, does not undergo catabolism. Antimony is excreted via the urine and feces. Some of the fecal antimony may represent unabsorbed antimony that is cleared from the lung via mucociliary action into the esophagus to the gastrointestinal tract. (7)
Toxicity ValuesNot Available
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)No indication of carcinogenicity (not listed by IARC). (6)
Uses/SourcesAntimony enters the environment during the mining and processing of its ores and in the production of antimony metal, alloys, antimony oxide, and combinations of antimony with other substances. Exposure usually occurs from breathing air, drinking water, and eating foods that contain antimony. Exposure can also occur through dermal or skin contact. (7)
Minimum Risk LevelNot Available
Health EffectsDermal exposure to antimony can cause antimony spots (papules and pustules around sweat and sebaceous glands). Antimony poisoning can also lead to pneumoconiosis. Alterations in pulmonary function and other effects including chronic bronchitis, chronic emphysema, inactive tuberculosis, pleural adhesions, and irritation can result from inhalation of antimony. Increased blood pressure can also result from antimony poisoning. Myocardial depression, vasodilation and fluid loss may cause shock with hypotension, electrolyte disturbances and acute renal failure. Cerebral oedema, coma, convulsions, and death are possible. (7)
SymptomsAbdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea can result from inhalation of antimony. Dyspnea, headache, vomiting,cough, conjunctivitis, and bloody purulent discharge from nose can result from inhalation exposure. Skin or eye contact can cause pain and redness of the exposed surface. (5, 7)
TreatmentFollowing oral exposure to antimony, administer charcoal as a slurry (240 mL water/30 g charcoal). Following inhalation exposure, move patient to fresh air. Monitor for respiratory distress. If cough or difficulty breathing develops, evaluate for respiratory tract irritation, bronchitis, or pneumonitis. Administer oxygen and assist ventilation as required. Treat bronchospasm with inhaled beta2 agonist and oral or parenteral corticosteroids. In case of eye exposure, irrigate exposed eyes with copious amounts of room temperature water for at least 15 minutes. Following dermal exposure, remove contaminated clothing and wash exposed area thoroughly with soap and water. A physician may need to examine the area if irritation or pain persists. (4)
Not Available
DrugBank IDNot Available
FooDB IDFDB003762
Phenol Explorer IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
BioCyc IDNot Available
METLIN IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkAntimony
Chemspider ID94667
ChEBI ID49867
PubChem Compound ID104894
Kegg Compound IDNot Available
YMDB IDNot Available
ECMDB IDNot Available
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
General References
1. Patricia Cava-Montesinos, M. Luisa Cervera Agustín Pastor Miguel de la Guardia. 2005. Room temperature acid sonication ICP-MS multielemental analysis of milk.Analytica Chimica Acta Volume 531, Issue 1, Pages 111-123
2. McCallum RI: Occupational exposure to antimony compounds. J Environ Monit. 2005 Dec;7(12):1245-50. Epub 2005 Oct 26.