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Nickel

Overview

CAS#: 7440-02-0

Nickel (Ni) is a hard, silvery-white metal that may cause irritation to the skin. Exposure can harm the lungs, stomach, and kidneys. Exposure to nickel may lead to cancer. Workers may be harmed from exposure to nickel. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

Nickel is used in many industries. It’s used to make stainless steel and other metal alloys.  Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to nickel include the following:

  • Refinery workers in nickel processing plants
  • Jewelry and pawn shop workers who come in contact with nickle coins or jewelry
  • Factory workers in plants where nickel alloys are used
  • Workers who come in contact with tools and other nickel releasing surfaces

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries.  If you work in an industry that uses nickel, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to nickel. Useful search terms for nickel include “elemental nickel,” and  ” nickel catalyst.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Logo of NIOSH Pocket Guide

NIOSH Pocket Guide

The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.

Logo of Manual of Analytical Methods.

Manual of Analytical Methods

The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.

Logo of Health Hazard Evaluations consisting of three letters: HHE

Health Hazard Evaluations

The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on nickel.

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

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