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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2008 Jul;70(3):349-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.02.026. Epub 2008 May 5.

Toxicity of lithium to humans and the environment--a literature review.

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CSIRO Minerals, Box 312, Clayton South, Vic. 3169, Australia.


Lithium concentrations in the surface and underground waters may be higher than general environment in places where lithium-rich brines and minerals occur, and in places where lithium batteries are disposed of. This review has indicated that lithium is not expected to bioaccumulate and its human and environmental toxicity are low. Lithium is not a dietary mineral for plants but it does stimulate plant growth. Large doses of lithium (up to 10 mg/L in serum) are given to patients with bipolar disorder. At 10 mg/L of blood, a person is mildly lithium poisoned. At 15 mg/L they experience confusion and speech impairment, and at 20 mg/L Li there is a risk of death. A provisional recommended daily intake of 14.3 microg/kg body weight lithium for an adult has been suggested.

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