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Platinum is a silver-white, light and ductile metal. It has the third highest density after osmium and iridium. Platinum remains unaffected by air and water, but dissolves in various acids. It is as resistant as gold to corrosion and oxidation. There are six natural platinum isotopes: the most abundant are 194Pt, 195Pt and 196Pt. The rest are 198Pt, 192Pt and 190Pt. The latter is weakly radioactive, with a half-life of 700 billion years while the remaining five are non-radioactive.

Platinum applications

Platinum has many uses. Due to its resistance to wear and oxidation, it is used in the manufacture of jewelery. Platinum and its alloys are used in surgical instruments, laboratory utensils, electrical resistance wires, and electrical contact points. It is used as a catalyst in the catalytic converter of the car exhaust system. However, the greatest use of platinum is in the manufacture of jewelry, and only a small percentage is used in the following industries: chemical industry, electrical industry, glass industry and aircraft industry. The glass industry uses platinum for fiber optic and liquid crystal display glass.

Impact of platinum on human health

Platinum is a noble metal. Platinum concentrations in soil, water and air are minimal.

Various platinum compounds are used as a medicine in the treatment of cancer (eg, cisplatin). The health effects of platinum largely depend on the type of compounds, the level of exposure and the function of the individual's immune system.

Platinum as a metal is not very dangerous, but platinum salts can cause many health problems, such as:

  • DNA damage
  • Cancer
  • Allergic reactions to the skin and mucous membranes
  • Damage to organs such as the intestine, kidneys and bone marrow
  • Hearing impairments

Finally, platinum can cause toxicity to other potentially harmful chemicals in the human body.

Environmental impacts of platinum

Platinum is released into the air through the exhausts of cars using leaded gasoline. As a result, platinum levels in the air may be higher in some areas, for example in garages, tunnels and on the ground near garages.

The effects of platinum on animals and the environment have not yet been extensively investigated. All that is known is that platinum accumulates in the roots of plants, but it is not yet clear whether eating these roots can cause harm to animals and humans. It also appears that some soil microorganisms can convert some platinum compounds into more dangerous substances.

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

We can measure platinum 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.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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