Thallium forms monovalent (thallous) compounds which may be oxidized to the less stable trivalent (thallic) compounds. Thallous sulfide is used in photocells, and mixed crystals of the bromide and iodide in infrared detectors. Thallium compounds are dangerously toxic; poisoning over a prolonged period causes loss of hair, disorders of the nerves in the limbs, and disturbance of the stomach and intestines. Thallium sulfide was once used as a rodent and ant poison but is now banned. Thallium-201 (an artificial radioactive isotope) is sometimes used during radionuclide scanning of the heart.
Related category INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
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