2013 Conference of the International Medical Geology Association (25–29 August 2013)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 11:40 AM


KALINICH, John F., Afrri, USU, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889-5603, john.kalinich@usuhs.edu

A variety of unique metal mixtures have entered the military arsenals of many countries in recent years. One such material is the tungsten alloys, which have been proposed as replacements for depleted uranium in armor-penetrating munitions. We recently showed that one of the tungsten alloys (tungsten/nickel/cobalt), when embedded as fragments, produced aggressive, metastatic rhabdomyosarcomas in rats. The need to confirm the carcinogenicity of these 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. Using the B6C3F1 mouse, we have now shown that the tungsten alloy composed of tungsten/nickel/cobalt, but not the alloy composed of tungsten/nickel/iron, induces tumors at the pellet implantation sites. Results of this work will help in formulating policies for military surgeons who must treat personnel wounded by fragments of the alloys.
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