Tungsten or wolfram was regarded for many years as an enemy within the tin
smelting and mining industry, because it conferred impurity or dirtiness in tin mining. However,
later it was considered an amazing metal for its strength and flexibility, together with its
diamond like hardness and its melting point which is the highest of any metal. It was first believed
to be relatively inert and an only slightly toxic metal. Since early 2000, the risk exerted
by tungsten alloys, its dusts and particulates to induce cancer and several other adverse effects
in animals as well as humans has been highlighted from in vitro and in vivo experiments.
Thus, it becomes necessary to take a careful look at all the most recent data reported in the
scientific literature, covering the years 2001-2016. In fact, the findings indicate that much
more attention should be devoted to thoroughly investigate the toxic effects of tungsten and
the involved mechanisms of tungsten metal or tungsten metal ions.
Keywords: Tungsten, toxicity, biological role, carcinogenesis, leukemia, environment, pollution, weapon.
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