Antimony is a naturally occurring metal often found in metal alloys, paints, ceramics, and fireworks. It is also used in the production of polyester, and is found in disposable plastic bottles. Antimony trioxide is used as a component in flame retardant chemical solutions.
How am I exposed?
Antimony is found in the air and water due to pollution from coal-burning power plants, vehicle exhaust, and other industrial emissions. Antimony is also found in dust due to the release from consumer products that contain antimony.
Why should I be concerned?
Antimony trioxide has been shown to cause cancer, eye and lung irritation, heart, lung and stomach damage, hair loss and fertility problems. However, the EPA has not classified antimony as a carcinogen.
What can government and business do?
- Federal and state governments can pass legislation that restricts the amount of antimony that can be produced and added to consumer products like paints and coatings.
- Businesses should phase out antimony and look for safer chemical substitutes.
How can I reduce my exposure?
- Avoid products treated with flame retardants by asking the manufacturer and/or retailer whether or not the products contain flame retardants or ask for “flame retardant-free” products.
- Choose stainless steel or glass water bottles instead of single use plastic water bottles.
- Washington Toxics Coalition: Antimony
- Environmental Protection Agency: Antimony
- Environmental Working Group: There’s Toxic Antimony in Baby Bibs, Clothing, Toys, And Games
Washington Toxics Coalition provided content for this page.