Antimony, Urine (Occupational)

Diagnostic Use

Antimony is a brittle silver-white metalloid obtained from the sulphide ore stibnite. It is mainly used as a fire retardant for paint, plastics, textiles, paper, rubber and adhesives and in the glass production industry. Its use as an alloy with lead in storage batteries has greatly decreased. It is also used in the semiconductor industry.
It is frequently found together with arsenic and some of the toxic effects described in the past may have been due to arsenic. Organic antimony compounds are used in the treatment of Leishmaniasis which can lead to toxicity.
Antimony is ingested or inhaled and is rapidly excreted in the urine and faeces. Inorganic trivalent antimony compounds are conjugated with glutathione and mainly excreted in the bile and pentavalent compounds in the urine.
Stibine, antimony hydride (SbH3¬) is a highly toxic colourless strongly smelling gas which is formed when an acid reacts with a metal alloy containing antimony. Exposure can happen when charging lead batteries. It is extremely toxic causing haemolytic anaemia and tubular necrosis.

Symptoms of exposure are similar to arsenic but much less toxic. Dermatitis and irritation of the mucous membranes used to be common along with a simple pneumoconiosis among process workers with chronic exposure, but as conditions have improved symptoms have become uncommon.
Acute exposure to Stibine gas causes headache nausea and vomiting.


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Recommended sampling time is POST SHIFT - the last 2 hours to immediately following the end of the working week.


Aliquot to Core laboratory for UCRN

Turnaround Time

14 days

Test Code