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Lanthanum (La)

Lanthanum is a soft, malleable, ductile silver-white metal. It is chemically active and one of the most reactive rare earth metals: It oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts with water to form hydroxide. Lanthanum ignites easily, and its salts are often very insoluble.

Applications of Lanthanum

Lanthanum is a rare chemical found in household equipment such as color televisions, fluorescent and energy-saving light bulbs, and glasses. All rare chemicals have comparable properties. Lanthanum oxide manufactures special optics (infrared absorption glass, cameras, and telescope lenses). It is added in small amounts to improve the ductility and toughness of steel. Lanthanum is still used in the zeolite catalysts used in oil refining.

Lanthanum is rare in nature and exists in minimal amounts. However, its use is increasing because it is suitable for producing catalysts and glassmaking.

Impact of Lanthanum on human health

Lanthanum is dangerous mainly in the workplace because it can be inhaled in the air. It can cause pulmonary embolism, especially during long-term exposure. Lanthanum can also cause lung cancer when inhaled. Finally, it threatens the liver because it accumulates in the human body.

Lanthanum has no known biological role. Lanthanum is absorbed shortly after ingestion. Lanthanum carbonate is given therapeutically to absorb excess phosphate in patients with end-stage renal failure.

While Lanthanum has pharmacological effects on various receptors and ion channels, its specificity for the GABA receptor is unique among trivalent cations. Lanthanum acts at the same regulatory point on the GABA receptor as Zinc. Lanthanum cation (La3+) is a positive regulator of GABA receptors, increasing the time the channel remains open and reducing receptor desensitization.

Environmental impacts of Lanthanum

Lanthanum gradually accumulates in soil and water, eventually increasing concentrations in humans, animals, and soil particles. Lanthanum accumulates significantly in mussels and other seafood. Lanthanum is dumped into the environment in many different places, notably by the oil industry. It can also enter the environment from the disposal of household equipment.

How can one determine if one has been exposed to Lanthanum?

We can measure Lanthanum levels in the blood and most biological materials.

Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled 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)!



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most critical parameter for diagnosing and monitoring all pathological conditions. 70% and 80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correctly interpreting laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased."

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted solely based on the numerical result of a single analysis. They should be interpreted concerning each case, family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your 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 contact your doctor to ensure you receive the best possible medical care.

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