The hard metal diseases

D. W. Cugell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Hard metal is a mixture of tungsten carbide and cobalt, to which small amounts of other metals may be added. It is widely used for industrial purposes whenever extreme hardness and high temperature resistance are needed, such as for cutting tools, oil well drilling bits, and jet engine exhaust ports. Cobalt is the component of hard metal that can be a health hazard. Respiratory diseases occur in workers exposed to cobalt-either in the production of hard metal, from machining hard metal parts, or from other sources. Adverse pulmonary reactions include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and interstitial fibrosis. A peculiar, almost unique form of lung fibrosis, giant cell interstitial pneumonia, is closely linked with cobalt exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalClinics in Chest Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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