Titanium is a lustrous, silver coloured, high strength metal and is resistant to corrosion. Pure titanium is not soluble in water but soluble in dense acids. Titanium forms an oxide protective layer (which makes it resistant to corrosion) when exposed to high temperatures in the air, but at room temperatures it is resistant to oxidation. The main oxidation state is 4+, although the 3+ and 2+ states are also known but less constant.
Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the Earth's crust.
Applications of titanium
Titanium dioxide is widely used as a white pigment. Titanium alloys are characterized by a very high tensile strength even at high temperatures, light weight, high corrosion resistance and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Based on these properties it is mainly used in aircrafts, pipes for power stations, laminates, warships, spaceships and rockets. Titanium is as strong as steel, but 45% lighter.
In medicine, titanium is used for the manufacture of artificial hip and knee joints in pacemakers, bone plates and screws, cranial plates used in skull fractures and dental implants.
Impact of titanium on human health
No biological role for titanium has been recognized so far. There are detectable amounts of titanium in the human body and it has been estimated that each person consumes about 0.8 mg of titanium / day, but most is eliminated without absorption. The human body can tolerate titanium in large doses. Elemental titanium and titanium dioxide have low levels of toxicity. Excessive exposure by inhaling titanium dioxide powder in humans can cause lung damage.
How can one determine if one has been exposed to titanium?
We can measure titanium levels in blood and most biological materials.
Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.