Naturally occurring tellurium consists of eight isotopes (listed in the table on the right), three of which are radioactive.
Exposure to even small amounts of tellurium can generate a garlicky odor in one's breath, sweat, and urine.
Chemically, tellurium is related to sulfur and selenium and forms similar compounds.
A person exposed to tellurium compounds should be given medical attention.
The 1960s brought growth in thermoelectric applications for tellurium, as well as its use in free-machining steel, which became the dominant use.
The principal source of tellurium is from anode sludges produced during the electrolytic refining of blister copper.
Commercial-grade tellurium, which is not toxic if properly handled, is usually marketed as minus 200-mesh powder, but it is also available as slabs, ingots, sticks, and lumps.
Exposure to tellurium or its compounds can also cause headache, dyspnea, weakness, skin rash, and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Tellurium (from the Latin word tellus, meaning "earth") was discovered in 1782 by the Hungarian Franz-Joseph Mьller von Reichenstein (Mьller Ferenc) in Transylvania.
Tellurium is produced mainly in the United States, Canada, Peru, and Japan.
Tellurium (chemical symbol Te, atomic number 52) is a relatively rare chemical element that belongs to the group of metalloids—its chemical properties are intermediate between those of metals and nonmetals.
A person exposed to as little as 0.01 milligrams (or less) of tellurium per cubic meter of air develops "tellurium breath," which has a garlicky odor.
Tellurium compounds are the only chemical compounds of gold found in nature.
The body metabolizes tellurium in any oxidation state, converting it to dimethyl telluride.
People exposed to tellurium compounds should receive medical attention.
Tellurium and its compounds should be considered toxic and need to be handled with care.
When burned in air, it produces a greenish-blue flame and forms tellurium dioxide.
Tellurium is brittle and can be easily pulverized.