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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Minor metals,   pp. 1347-1358 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 1358

1358 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 
THALLIUM 17 
 Thallium a-iid thallium compounds are limited as to both size of market
and number of uses. Federal restrictions regarding use of some compou-nds
deter the use of (this rare metal. 
 Domestic Production.—The American Smelting and Refining Company, Denver,
Cob., was the only domestic producer of thallium and thallium compounds.
Metal production was up slightly over 1971, but shipments were down. 
 Uses.—Distribution of thallium consumption was about 40% for electronics,
30% for low-melting alloys, 10% for optical glass, 7% for agriculture, 3%
for medicine, 5% for academic purposes and development research, and other
uses about 5%. 
 Curtailment of thallium as a roclenticide by Government action is continuing
with increasing controls resulting from an accidental killing of wildlife
i-n 1971 in the West. On February 8, 1972, the President issued Executive
Order 11643 which offers environmental safeguards on activities for animal
damage control on Federal Lands. The policy of the order is to restrict the
use of chemical toxicants for killing predatory mammals, birds, or reptiles,
which may cause secondary poisoning of such animals on Federal Land, and
the use of such toxi-cants in any Federal program of mammal or bird damage
control. 
 Thallium has a significant use in the electronics industry -for production
of thallium-activated sodium iodide crystals and for the production of "thallofide"
cells which contain thallium sulfide and are sensitive -to i-nfrared radiation.
Some thalhum compounds are extremely photosensitive especially to light of
-low intensity. Thallium is also used in low-melting alloys for switches,
thermometers, and other instruments for protection against extreme Arctic
temperatures. Further use of thallium is likely for rea-ction intermediates
in a variety of syntheses where the oxidizing power of -thallium (III) and
the stability of thallium (I) derivatives are exploited.18 
 Prices—The price of thallium in 25poun-d lots has been $7.50 per pound
since December 1957. 
 Foreign Trade.—U.S. imports -for consumptio-n in 1972 were 1,449 pounds
of unwrought, and waste and scrap thallium valued at $3,940. The amount was
about twice that imported in 1971. Thallium compounds imported were 936 pounds
valued at $7,144. 
 17 Prepared by Herbert R. Babitzke, physical scientist. 
 18 Lee, A. G. The Chemistry of Thallium. Elservier Publishing Co., Ltd.,
Barking, Essex, England, Monograph 14, 1971, 336 pp. 
Table 14.—US. imports for consumption of thallium in 1972, by country
Country of origin 
Compounds 
(gross weight) 
—-—' --—-~--_~—— 
 Pounds Value 
Unwrought, and waste and scrap 
— Pounds Value 
Belgium-Luxembourg                                  
 425 $1,468 
 1,000 $2,910 
Canada                                        
-- -- 
3 259 
Germany, West                                  
U.S.S.R                                        
 246 2,567 -- -- 
 -- -- 446 771 
UnitedKingdom                                 Total                     
 265 3,109 
-- -- 
 936 7,144 
 1,449 3,940 


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