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.


Results obtained by in vitro assays indicate an uptake of nano-sized WC-Co particles into lung cells. WC-Co nanoparticles were never detected in the cell nuclei [1] .



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