What is cobalt toxicity?
Cobalt toxicity is an condition caused by excessive levels of cobalt in the body. Although cobalt is an essential element for a person’s health, excessive levels are considered poisonous and can cause significant health problems, or even death.
Over the past ten years, metal-on-metal hip implants, largely composed of the element cobalt, have become a common alternative in hip replacement surgery. Many studies are now finding that the wear produced by some of these implants release enough cobalt into the bloodstream to cause adverse affects to the patient’s health. Although not enough data has been accumulated to produce definitive conclusions about the link between metal implants and metal toxicity, these studies reveal that in some patients, a malfunctioning hip replacement can create numerous additional and serious health problems.
Problems caused by cobalt toxicity may include:
If your hip replacement implant has been recalled, it is important that you do not wait until you feel symptoms before taking legal action. Our hip recall lawyers have had years of experience successfully litigating against pharmaceutical companies on behalf of people injured by defective medical devices. Read our advice for anyone who received the hip implant recall letter, or call 888-817-2527 to speak with one of our expert medical device recall lawyers for a free and confidential case evaluation.
The chemical element cobalt is known on the periodic table of elements by the symbol Co and atomic number 27. The main source of the element is as a by-product of copper and nickel mining, and is retrieved predominately from the copper belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.
Cobalt is an essential trace element for all animals in minute amounts. The median lethal dose (LD50) for soluble cobalt salts has been estimated to be between 150 and 500 mg/kg.
Canadian beer manufacturers in the 1960′s began adding cobalt compounds to stabilize beer foam, which led to cardiomyopathy in many beer drinkers.
Most of what is known about cobalt exposure is based on other exposures (ie. inhalation or ingestion), and from those instances it is known that cobalt can be processed out of the system through urine. However, there exists the possibility for liver damage and other long term adverse health issues caused by inflammation at the cellular level.
The chemical element of chromium is known on the periodic table of elements by the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It was discovered in 1797 and regarded with great interest because of its hardness and high resistance to corrosion.
In large amounts and different forms, chromium can be toxic and carcinogenic. Abandoned chromium production sites often require environmental cleanup. Many examples of chromium causing cancer have been seen in the media; however, this has been specific to “hexavalent chromium” (Chromium (VI))
“Trivalent chromium” (Chromium (III)) is not considered carcinogenic in the way hexavalent chromium is; however, several in vitro studies have indicated that high cellular levels of trivalent chromium can lead to DNA damage.
Additional problems associated with excessive chromium intake include liver and kidney damage, dermatitis, and irregular heartbeat.
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