When you want to buy a tungsten rings, you might ask: Are tungsten rings toxic? Are tungsten rings safe? Can tungsten rings cause cancer? Can tungsten rings make you sick? If you want to know the answer, you come to the right place.
Tungsten carbide rings are becoming more and more popular. Tungsten rings made with a metal alloy containing tungsten and carbon material. So, the tungsten ring can last more than 30 years without losing its luster.
Are Tungsten Rings toxic?
Before answering this question, you really should know how the tungsten ring manufacturing process. Tungsten rings contain tungsten carbide, which is a hypoallergenic metal alloy of equal portions of tungsten and carbon atoms.
They usually have a natural gray hue, but can also come in black, gold, or white hues. Products made from tungsten carbide are basically sintered powders, meaning cobalt powder as well as a small amount of other alloying materials in powdered form mix with tungsten carbide powder. The two powders are then fused by applying pressure to them to get the desired shape, often in a die.
At this stage, inhaling these powders is extremely dangerous as it can cause coal miner’s black lung disease. Cobalt is the binding metal in this mixture. Afterward, the fused powders are baked and sintered, and then locked in storage containers, reducing risk of inhalation.
Therefore, tungsten powder is toxic, but tungsten rings are not toxic and they are safe to use.
But, in this post, we like to talk more about tungsten poisoning. (please read it carefully)
There are various reports on the health risks involved with tungsten products. Some reports have stated a direct association between stroke risk and amounts of tungsten in the blood. As such, people with high levels of heavy metals in their blood have an increased risk of developing circulatory illnesses. Two major conditions are associated with tungsten; acute, and chronic tungsten poisoning.
Acute tungsten poisoning
This condition occurs quite rarely as compared to its counterpart. Most cases of acute tungsten poisoning result from the consumption of alcoholic drinks with dissolved tungsten. The French military drink beer/wine from recently fired gun barrels, which consists of tungsten, leading to acute tungsten poisoning.
As a result, there is a likelihood of tungsten accumulating in your urine, blood, nails, and hair. Luckily, the body eliminates this toxic compound by excretion, but the body may retain some of its traces.
Signs and symptoms of acute tungsten poisoning
- Sudden onset of seizures
- Severe nausea within fifteen minutes after ingestion
- Initial moderate kidney failure, which progresses to acute tubular necrosis with anuria within 24 hours after ingestion
- Rapid beginning of clouded consciousness, resulting in a coma with traces of encephalopathy (brain damage, disease, or malfunction)
- Low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia)
People diagnosed with acute tungsten poisoning gradually recover within a few weeks with complete metabolic/biochemical abnormalities within five months. It is advisable to get toxicological advice from experts if you suspect acute tungsten poisoning. Charcoal and oxygen help in cases of respiratory conditions. In cases of seizures, benzodiazepines are helpful as well as hemodialysis when it comes to kidney failure.
Chronic tungsten poisoning
Introduction of tungsten in America was as an environmentally-friendly alternative to the use of lead in bullets making for the military. This metal dissolves in low pH, in the presence of iron, in low oxygen concentration, and it can leak into drinking water and the soil.
Long-term exposure to tungsten leads to chronic tungsten poisoning, a more severe and frequent condition in comparison with acute tungsten poisoning. Hard metal workers, like those involved in grinding metals, as well as soldiers with embedded shrapnel, are more likely to contract Chronic tungsten poisoning.
More so, tungsten contributes to cases of pulmonary fibrosis because of hard metal lung disease. Pulmonary fibrosis is a giant cell interstitial pneumonitis that comes from inhaling dust from the utilization, manufacture, and maintenance of hard metal. A hard metal consists of cobalt and tungsten carbide.
However, the toxicity of hard metal mainly arises from the effects of cobalt on the respiratory system. On the other hand, tungsten carbide modifies the toxicity of cobalt as various tests show that cobalt alone does not have the effects as when combined with tungsten carbide. Hard metal workers have also demonstrated evidence of mild-to-moderate neuropsychological impairment, especially when it comes to memory function.
Signs and symptoms
Hard metal workers with acute tungsten poisoning symptoms should also get tested for chronic tungsten poisoning. By finding out the amount of plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in body tissue/mass, you can effectively get a diagnosis of whether you have acute or chronic tungsten poisoning.
Management of Chronic tungsten poisoning
Similar to acute tungsten poisoning, it is best to obtain toxicological advice if you suspect you have any tungsten poisoning. With the appropriate hemodialysis and supportive therapy, long-term and short-term recovery of tungsten poisoning are highly achievable.
Can tungsten rings cause cancer?
Tungsten rings have managed to garner a reputation for themselves for being a durable and cheaper alternative to gold, diamond, and platinum wedding rings. They are also scratch-resistant and quite affordable when compared to titanium or ceramic rings.
According to recent reports, tungsten coils used in interventional radiology are subject to degradation, implicating their ability to maintain arterial occlusion. There are also several toxic effects linked with the dissemination of this material into the bodies of patients. As a result, radiology patients have shown numerous traces of high tungsten levels in their blood, leaving to the carcinogenic potential of this material.
However, animal research suggests that long-term exposure to tungsten carbide to animals causes early signs and symptoms of lung cancer. Although, this research is not conclusive in human beings. In humans, long-term exposure to tungsten alone is not often cancerous, but when exposed to dust containing tungsten and cobalt, signs of lung cancer are possible. Furthermore, exposure of human cells to tungsten and other metals resulted in symptoms of cancer development.
Therefore, tungsten rings will not cause cancer.
Can tungsten rings make you sick?
Tungsten rings are also popular due to their hypoallergenic nature. It does not react with other substances, including oxygen, acids, or any other elements, preventing your finger from turning green. However, according to some health reports, long-term exposure to tungsten rings causes breathing problems and changes in behavior. It may also irritate the eyes and skin upon contact, resulting in redness, itching, and scaling of the skin.
Inhalation of tungsten irritates the mucous membrane and lungs. There are no known chronic effects related to tungsten rings as well as no proof that prolonged exposure to this material worsens medical conditions. Many health practitioners regard tungsten as a highly toxic compound, which is harmful to both humans and the environment.
Over time exposure to tungsten leads to lung problems, especially among hard-metal workers. However, lung diseases linked with tungsten are mostly due to exposure to cobalt rather than tungsten. Research on mice in a laboratory showed that exposure to both tungsten and cobalt results in lung damage.
NOTE: Tungsten rings made with jewelry grade tungsten are cobalt-free. So, tungsten ring will never make you sick.
Can tungsten rings cause joint pain?
Often, people purchase tungsten rings to wear every day for the rest of their lives. Whether they buy it as a wedding band or ring or as a simple decorative piece, the primary intention is that it will not leave the finger for years to come.
Tungsten is one of the hardest metals available in the world. Its hard nature allows jewel makers to design it into various innovative shapes and designs. However, these rings are not resizable. On the Mohs scale, the hardness of tungsten rings ranges between 8 and 9.
During emergencies, removal of rings should be done carefully for treatment or to prevent further injury to the wearer. Their hard nature makes tungsten rings challenging to remove in emergencies, especially for those using traditional ring cutters. As a result, the exercise of removing such rings may cause joint pain as well as other skin reactions.
NOTE: Wearing tungsten will not cause joint pain. But when you take it off, you must be careful.
Tungsten ring problems
Brittle–hard but liable to break or shatter
Tungsten rings made with premium quality tungsten carbide, which only breaks when you apply enough pressure to them. Tungsten ring manufacturers remedy their fragile nature by offering a lifetime warranty in case of accidental breakage. ( it could happen, but the chance is very slim) Check this post here. Some people who work with heavy machinery prefer wearing tungsten rings due to their durable properties.
Tungsten rings are not resizable
If you are looking for a re-sizeable modern ring, tungsten rings may not be your good choice. These rings are not resizable. As such, you may have to purchase another tungsten ring if you need a bigger or smaller ring. So, I suggest you guys buy tungsten rings with a lifetime warranty, so you can change a ring for free anytime.
Tungsten metal alone is toxic and can cause many problems. Such as cancer or lung problems. However, tungsten carbide rings made with jewelry grade tungsten are not toxic.
99.99% of the tungsten rings on the market are made with jewelry grade tungsten. Jewelry grade tungsten rings are not harmful to your health. Tungsten ring is perfect for the wedding band because it can last at least 30 years without losing its luster. So, be confident to buy and wear.
Furthermore, if the tungsten rings are not safe to ware, they can not be sold on the market. NO government in this world will allow this product to sell on the market. As a tungsten ring manufacturer, if my tungsten rings are toxic, they will never pass the testing and can not be shipped to the USA market or other markets.