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Record Information
Creation Date2014-10-10 20:38:48 UTC
Update Date2016-11-09 01:09:15 UTC
Accession NumberCHEM003929
Common NameCobalt-60
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionCobalt-60, 60Co, is a synthetic radioactive isotope of cobalt with a half-life of 5.2714 years. It is produced artificially by neutron activation of the isotope 59Co. 60Co decays by beta decay to the stable isotope nickel-60 (60Ni). Cobalt is a metallic element with the atomic number 27. It is found naturally in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. In small amounts cobalt is an essential element for life, as it is part of vitamin B12. However, excess exposure is known to exhibit toxic effects. (5, 6, 9)
Contaminant Sources
  • T3DB toxins
Contaminant Type
  • Cobalt Compound
  • Industrial/Workplace Toxin
  • Radioactive
  • Synthetic Compound
Chemical Structure
60Co radioisotopeMeSH
CO-60 RadioisotopeMeSH
Chemical FormulaCo
Average Molecular Mass59.934 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass59.934 g/mol
CAS Registry Number10198-40-0
IUPAC Name(⁶⁰Co)cobalt
Traditional Name(⁶⁰Co)cobalt
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/Co/i1+1
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as homogeneous transition metal compounds. These are inorganic compounds containing only metal atoms,with the largest atom being a transition metal atom.
KingdomInorganic compounds
Super ClassHomogeneous metal compounds
ClassHomogeneous transition metal compounds
Sub ClassNot Available
Direct ParentHomogeneous transition metal compounds
Alternative ParentsNot Available
  • Homogeneous transition metal
Molecular FrameworkNot Available
External DescriptorsNot Available
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular LocationsNot Available
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue LocationsNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological RolesNot Available
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceGray-blue metal
Experimental Properties
Melting PointNot Available
Boiling PointNot Available
SolubilityNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0 g/LALOGPS
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
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, Positivesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-5ec55e9e276ff34b918fView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-5ec55e9e276ff34b918fView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-5ec55e9e276ff34b918fView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-c4eed668d3af388c4a95View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-c4eed668d3af388c4a95View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-c4eed668d3af388c4a95View in MoNA
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureInhalational (5) ; oral (5) ; dermal (5); radiation (5)
Mechanism of ToxicityCobalt is believed to exhibit its toxicity through a oxidant-based and free radical-based processes. It produces oxygen radicals and may be oxidized to ionic cobalt, causing increased lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, and inducing certain enzymes that lead to cell apoptosis. Cobalt has also been shown to block inorganic calcium channels, possibly impairing neurotransmission. Cobalt can also chelate lipoic acids, impairing oxidation of pyruvate or fatty acids. In addition, cobalt may inhibit DNA repair by interacting with zinc finger DNA repair proteins, and has also been shown to inhibit heme synthesis and glucose metabolism. Cobalt may activate specific helper T-lymphocyte cells and interact directly with immunologic proteins, such as antibodies (IgA and IgE) or Fc receptors, resulting in immunosensitization. Radioactive cobalt damages DNA, RNA, and lipids through ionizing events. (5)
MetabolismCobalt is absorbed though the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and skin. Since it is a component of the vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), it is distributed to most tissues of the body. It is transported in the blood, often bound to albumin, with the highest levels being found in the liver and kidney. Cobalt is excreted mainly in the urine and faeces. (5)
Toxicity ValuesLD50: 503 mg/kg (Oral, Rat) (1) LD50: 25 mg/kg (Intravenous, Rabbit) (3)
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)Internalized radionuclides that emit β particles are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) (10). Cobalt-60 undergoes beta decay.
Uses/SourcesRadioactive cobalt is used for commercial and medical purposes, such as for sterilizing medical equipment and consumer products, radiation therapy for treating cancer patients, manufacturing plastics, and irradiating food. (5)
Minimum Risk LevelChronic Inhalation: 0.0001 mg/m3 (8) Intermediate Oral: 0.01 mg/kg/day (8) Acute Radiation: 4 mSv (8) Chronic Radiation: 1 mSv/yr (8)
Health EffectsExposure to high amount of cobalt can cause heart, lung, kidney, and liver damage. Skin contact is known to result in contact dermatitus. Cobalt may also have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. Exposure to cobalt radiation causes cell damage and can lead to severe burns and death at high doses. (5, 6)
SymptomsExposure to cobalt radiation may cause acute radiation syndrome, which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, and possibly coma. (5)
TreatmentTreatment of cobalt poisoning is symptomatic. (5)
Not Available
DrugBank IDNot Available
HMDB IDNot Available
FooDB IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
BioCyc IDNot Available
METLIN IDNot Available
PDB IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkCobalt-60
Chemspider IDNot Available
ChEBI IDNot Available
PubChem Compound ID61492
Kegg Compound IDNot Available
YMDB IDNot Available
ECMDB IDNot Available
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
MSDSNot Available
General ReferencesNot Available