Carcinogenicity of Embedded Tungsten Alloys in Mice
Annual rept. 10 Feb 2006-9 Feb 2007
HENRY M JACKSON FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MILITARY MEDICINE ROCKVILLE MD
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A variety of tungsten alloys and other unusual metals have begun to enter U.S. military arsenals as substitutes for depleted uranium DU in munitions. There are questions about the health effects of exposure to the tungsten alloys that are similar to those originally surrounding DU especially for embedded shrapnel exposures. The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute AFRRI recently performed research that showed one of the militarily promising tungsten alloys to be a potent carcinogen when implanted in rats. The need to confirm the carcinogenicity of such alloys in another rodent species is an important second step required in biological as well as regulatory terms to better assess the cancer risk in humans. Results of this work will help in formulating policies for military surgeons who must treat personnel wounded by fragments of the alloys. Indications of unacceptable risks of exposure will also he Ip determine the advisability of deploying or developing similar munitions. Planned timelines for the first year of the project have been disrupted when unanticipated difficulties procuring the custom pellets required for implantation were encountered including added costs and metallurgical problems associated with the manufacture of pellets. Pellet deliveries are now expected early within the second year of the project.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Metallurgy and Metallography
- Radioactivity, Radioactive Wastes and Fission Products