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Erbium is a soft, supple, shiny, silver metal. It is very stable in air, reacts very slowly with oxygen and water and dissolves in acids.

Applications of erbium

Some quantities of erbium are added to metal alloys such as vanadium because it reduces their hardness, making them more functional. As it absorbs infrared light, erbium is added to special safety goggles used by welders and workers in the glass industry. It is also used in photo filters and elsewhere.

Erbium is never found as a free element in nature. It is found in minerals that contain rare earth elements. Erbium is one of the most abundant of rare earths.

Impact of erbium on human health

Erbium has no biological role, although it has been observed to stimulate metabolism. It is difficult to determine the amount of erbium present in the human body. People consume 1 mg of erbium per year on average. Its levels are higher in the bones, while smaller amounts are found in the liver and kidneys.

Erbium does not appear to pose an environmental threat to plants and animals.

How can one determine if one has been exposed to erbium?

We can measure erbium levels in blood and most biological materials.

Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!




Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

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