Exposure to a rare metal found in mobile phones could double an individual’s risk of stroke, scientists warned.
High levels of tungsten significantly raises the risk of the disease, particularly for those under the age of 50, a new study has found. Although our current exposure to the precious metal is low, it is being increasingly used in everyday items such mobile phones, computers and light bulbs.
In the past decade, production has almost doubled, as advances in technology continue to drive
demand. Experts now fear its increased prevalence could pose a health risk to future generations. During its production, small amounts of the metal escape into the environment, eventually making their way into rivers and farmland.
Exposure to tiny amounts present in the air, drinking water and in the food chain is common, but it remains unclear why certain individuals have higher levels. Researchers said there is no clear evidence linking use of technology such as smartphones and laptops to increased amounts of the metal in the blood.
‘Whilst currently very low, human exposure to tungsten is set to increase,’ said lead researcher Dr Jessica Tyrrell, from the University of Exeter. ‘We’re not yet sure why some members of the population have higher levels of the metal in their make-up, and an important step in understanding and preventing the risks it may pose to health will be to get to the bottom of how it’s ending up in our bodies.’
Source - Daily Mail