ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Cesium
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Cesium

CAS ID #: 7440-46-2

Affected Organ Systems: Developmental (effects during periods when organs are developing)

Cancer Effects: None

Chemical Classification: Radionuclides (radioactive materials)

Summary: Cesium is a naturally occurring element found combined with other elements in rocks, soil, and dust in low amounts. Naturally occurring cesium is not radioactive and is referred to as stable cesium. There is only one stable form of cesium naturally present in the environment, 133Cs (read as cesium one-thirty-three). Nuclear explosions or the breakdown of uranium in fuel elements can produce two radioactive forms of cesium, 134Cs and 137Cs. Both isotopes decay into non-radioactive elements. 134Cs and 137Cs generate beta particles as they decay. It takes about 2 years for half of 134Cs to give off its radiation and about 30 years for 137Cs; this is called the halflife.

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