Preliminary risk-based concentrations for tungsten in soil and drinking water
John D. Schell and Michael J. Pardus

During a recent investigation into a purported childhood leukemia cancer cluster in the western US, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified a data gap associated with basic toxicological information on tungsten, the naturally occurring metal. This concern by CDC, along with the use of tungsten in various industries, has stimulated a dramatic increase in the amount of information available on this metal. Investigations into the toxicity of tungsten have been conducted by academic institutions and military research labs. A review of a number of these recent studies, some of them not yet published in the scientific literature, provide an insight into the relative potency of tungsten, especially when compared to other naturally occurring and industrial-use metals. Because some of these studies have been conducted using standard protocols, the resulting information can form the basis of a ‘strawman’ toxicity factor which can be used to develop preliminary ‘safe’ environmental concentrations. Using methods employed by USEPA to derive preliminary risk-based concentrations (pRBCs), such as the Region 9 Preliminary Remedial Goals, the toxicity factor for tungsten translates into concentrations in soil and drinking water that would be without the risk of causing adverse effects.

Key words: drinking water, human health criteria, preliminary risk-based screening levels, soil, tungsten

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 17 (1), 179-188 (2009)

DOI: 10.2462/09670513.934

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Article code 934