The toxicology of indium oxide.

Research paper by Ernst M EM Bomhard

Indexed on: 16 Feb '18Published on: 16 Feb '18Published in: Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology


Indium oxide (InO) is a technologically important semiconductor essentially used, doped with tin oxide, to form indium tin oxide (ITO). It is poorly soluble in all so far tested physiologic media. After repeated inhalation, InOparticles accumulate in the lungs. Their mobilization can cause significant systemic exposure over long periods of time. An increasing number of cases of severe lung effects (characterized by pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, emphysema and/or interstitial fibrosis) in workers of the ITO industry warrants a review of the toxicological hazards also of InO. The database on acute and chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity/genotoxicity/reproductive toxicity as well skin/eye irritation and sensitization is very limited or even lacking. Short-term and subchronic inhalation studies in rats and mice revealed persistent alveolar proteinosis, inflammation and early indicators of fibrosis in the lungs down to concentrations of 1 mg/m. Epidemiological and medical surveillance studies, serum/blood indium levels in workers as well as data on the exposure to airborne indium concentrations indicate a need for measures to reduce exposure at InOworkplaces.