Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Occupational exposure to hard metal dust and hard metal alloy (tungsten carbide, cobalt and occasionally titanium and tantalum) causes lung fibrosis and asthma. Cobalt compounds are used as additions in animal feeds, in electroplating and in preparation of pigments. Thus it can enter the body by different routes. This study deals with the metabolic behaviour of cobalt, particularly regarding the reproductive system in vivo in rats and in vitro in rat, pig and human sperm cells. Experiments on rats have shown that the target tissue for cobalt depended on the route and time of exposure. Intracellular cobalt was present mainly in the nuclear fractions of lung, spleen and liver and in the cytosol of the kidney. No cobalt was found in sperm cells after long-term exposure via drinking water. However, marked effects were seen after in vitro incubation of the sperm in the different animal species and in humans, suggesting that in vivo barriers against Co incorporation may exist.

Additional information

Authors: EDEL J, JRC Ispra (IT);SABBIONI E, JRC Ispra (IT);DEVOS S, JRC Ispra (IT);REBECCHI A, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: TEMA 8 - Trace Elements in Man and Animals, Dresden (DE), May 16-22, 1993
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 37565 ORA
Record Number: 199311308 / Last updated on: 1994-11-28
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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