Tellurium is an element used in the vulcanization of rubber and in metal-oxidizing solutions to blacken or tarnish metals. Descriptions of human toxicity from tellurium ingestion are rare. We report the clinical course of 2 children who ingested metal-oxidizing solutions containing substantial concentrations of tellurium. Clinical features included vomiting, black discoloration of the oral mucosa, and a garlic odor to the breath. One patient developed corrosive injury to the esophagus secondary to the high concentration of hydrochloric acid in the solution. Both patients recovered without serious sequelae, which is typical of tellurium toxicity. An awareness of situations in which children may be exposed to tellurium and its clinical presentation may assist clinicians in the diagnosis of this rare poisoning.

You do not currently have access to this content.