Germanium intoxication with sensory ataxia.
ABSTRACT Sensory ataxia in inorganic germanium intoxication is rare. A 63-year-old housewife had taken inorganic germanium preparations at a dosage of 36 mg a day for about 6 years (total dose about 80 g). She subsequently developed difficulty in writing and gait disturbance with peripheral neuropathy and renal involvement. Germanium, which is not usually detected in the non-germanium user, was accumulated in her hair and nails, permitting a diagnosis of inorganic germanium intoxication. The peripheral neuropathy and renal injury were not reversible after discontinuing the preparation. Pneumonia and sepsis then supervened and the patient died. Autopsy findings showed degeneration and loss of the dorsal root ganglion cells and degeneration of the dorsal column of the spinal cord. Two previously reported cases presented with ataxia. These patients took germanium for long periods and/or large quantities like our case. It was supposed that sensory ataxia was induced by chronic and dose dependent toxicity of inorganic germanium.
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ABSTRACT: For strategic and economic reasons the conversion of coal to liquid fuels has been a constant goal of the coal science community. Although the economics of coal liquefaction are primarily governed by the price of crude oil, other factors such as the need for large quantities of hydrogen gas, play an important role. If methods could be found that reduce the amount of hydrogen gas required for liquefaction, considerable benefits would be realized. To explore this possibility the use of waste plastics as materials capable of upgrading coal into liquid fuel products has been investigated. The use of waste plastics for this purpose could become possible because over 30 million tons of synthetic polymer material is produced in the United States every year. In this study, several pyrolysis and liquefaction experiment were performed on an Illinois No. 6 coal and coal/plastic blends.
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ABSTRACT: So-called germanium ‘health’ products including dietary supplements, cosmetics, accessories, and warm bath service containing germanium compounds and metalloid are popular in Japan. Subchronic and chronic oral exposure of germanium dioxide (GeO2), popular chemical form of inorganic germanium causes severe germanium toxicosis including death and kidney dysfunction in humans and experimental animals. Intestinal absorption of neutralized GeO2 or germanate is almost complete in humans and animals. However, it is not known whether germanium is cutaneously absorbed. We tested dermal absorption of neutralized GeO2 or germanate using male F344/N rats. Three groups of rats were treated with a 3-h topical application of hydrophilic ointment containing graded level of neutralized GeO2 (pH 7.4): 0, 0.21 and 0.42 mg GeO2/g. Germanium concentration in blood and tissues sampled from rats after topical application of inorganic germanium was measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Animals topically applied 0.42 mg GeO2/g ointment had significantly higher germanium concentrations in plasma, liver, and kidney than those of rats that received no topical germanium. The results indicate that skin is permeable to inorganic germanium ion or germanate and recurrent exposure of germanium compounds may pose a potential health hazard.Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 11/2008; 52(2-52):169-173. DOI:10.1016/j.yrtph.2008.07.002 · 2.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The semiconductor element, germanium (Ge), is essential for the manufacture of modern integrated circuits. Because of its anti-tumor and immunomodulative effects, Ge-containing compounds are also used as health-promoting ingredients in food. However, some histological studies have shown the toxic effects of Ge-containing compounds on various organs, including the central nervous system. Even now, the effect of germanium on auditory system function is not completely clear. To clarify this question, brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) were applied to examine the effect of germanium dioxide (GeO(2)) on the ascending auditory pathway. Since the voltage-gated sodium channel is important to neuron activation and nerve conduction, the effect of GeO(2) on voltage-gated sodium channels was also examined. The result revealed GeO(2) elevated the BAEPs threshold dose-dependently. GeO(2) also prolonged latencies and interpeak latencies (IPLs) of BAEPs, but the amplitudes of suprathreshold intensities (90dB) did not show any obvious change. In addition, the results of whole cell patch clamp studies indicated GeO(2) reduced inward sodium current. These results suggest the toxic effect of GeO(2) on the conduction of the auditory system, and that inhibitory effect of GeO(2) on the voltage-gated sodium channels might play a role in GeO(2)-induced abnormal hearing loss.Toxicology 12/2008; 256(1-2):110-7. DOI:10.1016/j.tox.2008.11.009 · 3.75 Impact Factor