Palladium Health Effects

Sources of Exposure

  • Palladium and its alloys are used as catalysts in the (petro)chemical and, above all, the automotive industries.
  • Applications for electronics and electrical technology include use in metallization processes (thick film paste), electrical contacts and switching systems.
  • Palladiumalloys are also widely used in dentistry (e.g., for crowns and bridges).

The general population is primarily exposed to palladium through dental alloys, jewelry, food and emissions from automobile catalytic converters.

Health Effects

Most commonly, sensitivity to Palladium is reported. People with nickel allergy are at risk,

Side-effects noted from medical or experimental uses of palladium preparations include fever, hemolysis, discoloration or necrosis at injection sites after subcutaneous injections and erythema and edema following topical application. A few case reports reported skin disorders in patients who had exposure to palladium-containing jewelry or unspecified sources.


WHO Environmental Health Criteria 226 2002