Heavy Metal-Induced Carcinogenicity: Depleted Uranium and Heavy-Metal Tungsten Alloy

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Abstract

Continued development of novel munitions for the battlefield opens the possibility of wounds containing embedded fragments of metals or metal mixtures whose toxicological properties may not as yet be well-understood. This chapter reviews what is currently known about two recent additions to many nations’ arsenals: depleted uranium and heavy-metal tungsten alloy . The toxicological and genotoxic properties of these materials, derived from both in vitro and in vivo studies, will be discussed, as will the health effects of known human exposures. Finally, areas requiring further research will be detailed.