Question of the Day – Thursday January 11, 2018

Question:  What are the known risks of the occupational inhalation of dusts composed of nano- and micro-sized particles of tungsten carbide cobalt in metal manufacturing facilities and mining and drilling industries?

Answer: The cited article reports “Inhalation of tungsten carbide cobalt dust is known to cause “hard metal lung disease” and an increased risk of lung cancer; however, the mechanisms underlying [inhaled nano particles of tungsten carbide cobalt] toxicity, the inflammatory disease state and progression to cancer are poorly understood. (Armstead A and Li B. Nanotoxicity: emerging concerns regarding nanomaterial safety and occupational hard metal (WC-Co) nanoparticle exposure. 2016 Int J Nanomedicine 11:6421-6433)