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Issue 10, 2010
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Dissolution of cemented carbide powders in artificial sweat: implications for cobalt sensitization and contact dermatitis

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Abstract

Skin exposure to cobalt-containing materials can cause systemic immune sensitization and upon repeat contact, elicitation of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Data on cobalt dissolution rates are needed to calculate uptake through skin and for development of models to understand risk of sensitization or dermatitis. The purpose of this research was to measure the dissolution kinetics of feedstock and process-sampled powders encountered in the production of hard metal alloys using artificial sweat. The physicochemical properties of each material were characterized prior to evaluation of dissolution behavior. Variations in artificial sweat solvent pH and chemistry were used to understand critical factors in dissolution. Dissolution of cobalt, tungsten, and tungsten carbide was often biphasic with the initial rapid phase being up to three orders of magnitude faster than the latter long-term phase. Artificial sweat pH did not influence dissolution of cobalt or tungsten carbide. Solvent composition had little influence on observed dissolution rates; however, vitamin E suppressed the dissolution of cobalt and tungsten carbide from sintered particles obtained from a chamfer grinder. There was no effect of particle size on dissolution of feedstock cobalt, tungsten, tungsten carbide, and admixture powders. Particle physicochemical properties influenced observed dissolution rates with more cobalt and tungsten carbide dissolving from chamfer grinder particles compared to the feedstock powders or admixture powder. Calculations using the observed dissolution rates revealed that skin exposure concentrations were similar to concentrations known to induce cobalt sensitization and elicit ACD. Observed dissolution rates for cobalt in artificial sweat indicate that dermal uptake may be sufficient to induce cobalt sensitization and allergic dermatitis.

Graphical abstract: Dissolution of cemented carbide powders in artificial sweat: implications for cobalt sensitization and contact dermatitis

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Jun 2010, accepted on 03 Aug 2010 and first published on 23 Aug 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00269K
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2010,12, 1815-1822
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    Dissolution of cemented carbide powders in artificial sweat: implications for cobalt sensitization and contact dermatitis

    A. B. Stefaniak, C. J. Harvey, M. A. Virji and G. A. Day, J. Environ. Monit., 2010, 12, 1815
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00269K

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