Tungsten carbid-Cobalt – Uptake

Tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) particles can enter the body via inhalation of air-borne WC-Co. Contamination is followed by an enhanced level of tungsten and cobalt in the blood and in the urine. Hence, exposure monitoring of hard metal workers (so-called biological screening) can be performed by measuring blood or urine concentrations.

Whether tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) nanoparticles are taken up via the intact skin has not been investigated so far.

Tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) particles can enter the body via the food in case of lacking hygiene conditions. Likewise, an uptake via contaminated drinking water is possible. Contamination is followed by an enhanced level of tungsten and cobalt in the blood and in the urine. Hence, exposure monitoring of hard metal workers (so-called biological screening) can be performed by measuring blood or urine concentrations.

Exposure to tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) nanoparticles mainly occurs occupationally and hence, there are only few investigations regarding effects on environmental organisms.

 

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