ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Nickel
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Nickel

CAS ID #: 7440-02-0

Affected Organ Systems: Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessels), Dermal (Skin), Immunological (Immune System), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)

Cancer Effects: Reasonably Anticipated to be a Human Carcinogen, Known to be a Human Carcinogen

Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances

Summary: Nickel is a very abundant natural element. Pure nickel is a hard, silvery-white metal. Nickel can be combined with other metals, such as iron, copper, chromium, and zinc, to form alloys. These alloys are used to make coins, jewelry, and items such as valves and heat exchangers. Most nickel is used to make stainless steel. Nickel can combine with other elements such as chlorine, sulfur, and oxygen to form nickel compounds. Many nickel compounds dissolve fairly easy in water and have a green color. Nickel compounds are used for nickel plating, to color ceramics, to make some batteries, and as substances known as catalysts that increase the rate of chemical reactions. Nickel is found in all soil and is emitted from volcanoes. Nickel is also found in meteorites and on the ocean floor. Nickel and its compounds have no characteristic odor or taste.

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