Is gold a toxic compound?

Noble metals (chemistry) Gold compounds are the most toxic of the copper, silver and gold subgroup. When gold compounds are used for medical purposes, their excretion is found to be slow, approximately 20% within two weeks and less thereafter. Gold is omnipresent in the human environment and most people come into contact with it through the use of jewelry, dental devices, implants or treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Gold isn't a nutrient, but people are exposed to it as a food coloring and in food chains.

This review analyzes the dangers faced by the personal and domestic use of gold and the much greater risks posed by occupational exposure to metal in the extraction and processing of gold ores. In the latter situation, regular manual contact or inhalation of toxic or carcinogenic materials such as mercury or arsenic, respectively, presents a much greater danger and greatly complicates the assessment of the toxicity of gold. The uses and risks presented by new technologies and the use of nanoparticulate gold in cancer therapies and diagnostic medicine constitute an important consideration in the toxicity of gold, in which tissue absorption and distribution are largely determined by particle size and surface characteristics. Many human problems arise due to the ability of metallic gold to induce allergic contact hypersensitivity.

While gold in jewelry can cause allergic reactions, other metals such as nickel, chromium and copper found in white gold or alloys present more serious clinical problems. It is concluded that the toxic risks associated with gold are low in relation to the wide range of possible routes of exposure to the metal in everyday life. Metallidurans live, the body often comes into contact with two types of heavy metals, copper and gold. When this happens, the bacteria convert copper and gold into a form that is easier to absorb.

This is because both gold and copper put bacteria at risk of heavy metal poisoning or metal toxicity. In its metallic form, gold is not toxic, so we can eat ice cream with gold flakes. However, some natural gold compounds break down in the body and release gold ions, which can have toxic effects on living organisms. Nies told Newsweek that once this new gold-generation process is refined, it could be used for any purpose.

Normally, to extract gold from minerals, minerals are subjected to liquid mercury, which then evaporates so that gold remains. Here, other bacteria transform the primary gold metal into toxic, mobile gold compounds, which are transformed back into secondary metallic gold in the second half of the cycle. It transforms toxic gold particles formed by the weathering process into harmless gold particles, thus producing gold nuggets. Once the entire cycle is understood, gold can also be produced from minerals containing only a small percentage of gold without the need for toxic mercury bonds, as was the case before.

Here, other bacteria transform primary gold into toxic, mobile gold compounds, which are transformed back into secondary metallic gold in the second half of the cycle. As a result of this process, gold compounds inside bacteria are transformed into harmless microscopic gold nuggets.