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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The determination methods of germanium (Ge) in biological specimens such as blood plasma, erythrocytes, urine, hair, nail, and other organs were established using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) and microwave-induced plasma mass spectrometry (MIP-MS). The detection limits of Ge standard solution were 3 ng/mL with GFAAS and 0.05 ng/mL with MIP-MS. The detection limits in organ samples depended on the type of samples and sampling amounts: 3-30 ng/g by GFAAS and 0.05-0.5 ng/g by MIP-MS. The sensitivity of GFAAS was lower than that of MIP-MS; however, it was adequate for determining Ge concentrations in specimens from patients who had ingested Ge. Samples were digested by a simple wet-ashing procedure using nitric acid and perchloric acid. To avoid the interfering effects of coexisting elements and perchloric acid residue, an extraction method using organic solvent was tried. When using MIP-MS, extraction was not necessary; however, both dilution and addition of an internal standard were needed. Special attention was required for iron-rich samples because a molecular ion of 56Fe16O was observed at nm/z72 where 2Ge was monitored. The results of Ge concentrations in human samples obtained by these methods agreed well. Interfering effects of perchloric acid, which was used for digestion and which remained in samples, were observed in both methods. Hair and nail samples from people who had ingested Ge were useful for monitoring Ge in the body. Hair samples were useful for determining past exposure to Ge when the distribution patterns from the scalp to the end of the strand were analyzed. In control subjects, Ge concentrations in the listed specimens and organs were lower than 0.1 microg/g or mL, and these low levels of Ge were able to be determined by MIP-MS in combination with the extraction method.
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