Cobalt (Co) is a silver, hard metal of mineral origins. It can be used both as a mineral and a metal in medicine, electroplating, and pottery coloring. Cobalt-57 is especially used as a radiolabel in nuclear medicine.
Cobalt is an isotope metal. Cobalt-57 is the radioactive isotope of the Cobalt isotope and the radioactive form of the Cobalt metal. It usually decays in 270 to 272 days by electron capture.
Cobalt-57 isused in medicine to help detect cancerous tumors. It is also used as a component in the medical equipments studying the chemical properties of various materials or testing the response of Gamma cameras.
Cobalt-57 is sometimes mixed in the flood liquid that tests the lack of Vitamin B12. I tmay also be used to treat Pernicious Anemia.
The exposure to high levels of Cobalt-57 damages the affected cells in the body, causing them to mutate and develop cancer cells. In some rare cases, Cobalt-57 may also generate the Acute Radiation Syndrome, with symptoms like bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, coma and even sudden death.
Cobalt-60 is a synthetic radioactive isotope resulted from Cobalt-59. Cobalt-60 is used in medicine and various industries.
Cobalt-60 is produced artificially in nuclear powerplants. Due to its artificial nature, it emits two gamma rays that provide only the radioactive energy desired to achieve a certain purpose.
Cobalt-60 is the most stable radioisotope of cobalt and has a half-life of about 5.2714 years.
Sustained exposure to Cobalt particles results in a type of lung fibrosis called "hard metal lung disease". The inhalation of cobalt particles may also cause asthma, shortness of breath, respiratory sensitization or decreased pulmonary function.
Cobalt-60 emits radiation, causing long-lasting symptoms like fatigue and hairloss, and even loss of consciousness.