Ytterbium is a soft, lightweight and ductile metal that has a bright silvery luster. It belongs to the rare earths, dissolves easily with inorganic acids, reacts slowly with water and oxidizes in air. The oxide forms a protective layer on the surface of the metal. Ytterbium compounds are rare.
Applications of Ytterbium
Ytterbium is sometimes used in steel alloys. An ytterbium isotope has been used as a source of radiation in portable X-ray machines. Like other rare earth elements, it can be used in ceramic capacitors and other electronic devices as an industrial catalyst.
Ytterbium is found along with other rare earth elements in various rare minerals. It is extraterrestrial in nature and is a mixture of seven stable isotopes.
Impacts of ytterbium on human health
Ytterbium has no known biological role, but its salts have been shown to stimulate metabolism. Ytterbium is irritating to the skin and eyes and is also suspected to be teratogenic.
How can one determine if one has been exposed to ytterbium?
We can measure ytterbium 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)!
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.