[Clayart] Cobalt is now classified as a carcinogen

Vince Pitelka vpitelka at dtccom.net
Fri Nov 4 20:17:07 EDT 2016

Hi Owen - 
I am not sure what this has to do with studio pottery, as long as one is not using cobalt sulfate or some other soluble form of cobalt.  Of course we should all avoid breathing any sort of dust, but other than that, studio cobalt compounds (cobalt carbonate and cobalt oxide) are insoluble and are not absorbed through the skin.  That is according to several toxicology reports I researched in the past.  
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University
vpitelka at dtccom.net  

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com] On Behalf Of Owen Dearing
Sent: Friday, November 4, 2016 10:56 AM
To: via Clayart <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: [Clayart] Cobalt is now classified as a carcinogen

According to a report on CNN’s website, cobalt is one of seven newly classified carcinogens. 

"The metallic element cobalt <http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/cobalt/> and cobalt compounds that release cobalt ions in vivo -- or, inside the body -- are now classified as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."
"Cobalt is a naturally occurring element used to make metal alloys and other metal compounds, such as military equipment and rechargeable batteries," according to the report. "The highest exposure occurs in the workplace and from failed surgical implants."
Cobalt's classification in this report "does not include vitamin B12 <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/>, because cobalt in this essential nutrient is bound to protein and does not release cobalt ions."
The full report can be read at this link: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/03/health/human-carcinogens-hhs-report/index.html <http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/03/health/human-carcinogens-hhs-report/index.html>

And, the obvious question for potters is, is it possible that cobalt ions in glaze can be released inside the body? Does anyone know?

Thanks, Owen

Owen Dearing, potter
Bend, Oregon

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