Periodic table entry for molybdenum that includes the atomic number, abbreviation and mass
CAS Number: various

Molybdenum is an essential nutrient that we get mainly from food.  It is normal and healthy to have some molybdenum in the body.  Molybdenum is also a metal used in alloys, such as steel, to improve durability.  Molybdenum compounds are added as flame retardants to some plastics.

Fact Sheet

Molybdenum is found in:

  • Certain foods, including legumes (beans, lentils, and peanuts), nuts, rice, and liver.
  • Some dietary supplements.
  • Metal alloys used for a variety of applications, including:
    • Artificial joints for the hip and knee.
    • Welding supplies and equipment.
  • Flame retardants for some plastics, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.

Molybdenum is an essential nutrient

  • A small amount of molybdenum, easily obtained from the diet, is needed to support many vital processes in the body.

Possible health concerns of too much molybdenum

Too much molybdenum:

  • May cause gout-like symptoms, such as joint pain.
  • May harm reproductive function in men.

Possible ways to avoid exposure to too much molybdenum

  • If you have a metal hip or knee replacement, follow your doctor’s advice for monitoring metals, including molybdenum, in your blood.
  • If you work with molybdenum or do any welding or metalworking, be sure that your work area is well ventilated and use proper protective equipment.  Follow other safe work practices, including washing hands frequently, keeping work dust out of your home, and washing work clothes separately.

Biomonitoring California Information

Documents, Presentations, and Publications: 

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