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Old 01-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #30
chrisl
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 35
Default Toxicity of lead and tungsten

From the Merck Index:

Potential symptoms of overexposure to tungsten are irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory system; diffuse pulmonary fibrosis; loss of appetite, nausea, cough; blood changes. See NIOSH
Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140,
1997)

Lead Toxicity: children show weight loss, weakness, anemia. Lead
poisoning in adults is usually occupational due mainly to inhalation of lead dust or fumes. Wristdrop and colic rarely occur. More often there are vague G.I. and CNS complaints. Pb content of blood 0.05 mg% and of urine 0.08 mg per liter support a diagnosis of Pb poisoning. Provocative excretion test
using Edathamil may be helpful in confirming excess Pb absorption.
Review of toxicity: Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, R. E. Gosselin et al., Eds. (Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 4th ed., 1976) Section III, pp 194-202; Lead Toxicity, R. L. Singhal, J. A. Thomas, Eds. (Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore, 1980) 514 pp.


So while lead and tungsten are to be treated with care, as long as you don't erode it, vaporize it or ingest it in some other way you'll be fine. Avoiding powdering and the creation of fumes, and washing hands after working with the materials gets you a long way
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