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Old 11-12-2013, 11:34 AM
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Default Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

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"Researchers from the University of Exeter found that higher urinary concentration of tungsten is associated with an increased stroke risk, even when taking into account other stroke risk factors such as age, socioeconomic status, cigarette use, body mass index, occupation and alcohol consumption.

Tungsten exposure is not thought to be high for the general population, though people can be exposed to it through drinking water, diet and the atmosphere. However, "recent reports have suggested that tungsten should be considered as an emerging chemical toxicant of concern," the researchers wrote in the PLOS ONE study. They explained why:

When soil pH falls, tungsten becomes increasingly soluble and can leach into underlying aquifers. With production of tungsten steadily rising (72,000 tons produced last year compared to 40,000 tons in 2002), and use becoming more widespread, the potential for tungsten to further contaminate the environment is increasing. Tungsten is known to be capable of biological interaction and disruption of biochemical pathways and therefore the human health impact must be considered.
While tungsten is not known to cause any health problems on its own, studies in animals and in cell cultures have linked it to cancer and pulmonary inflammation; other research has also suggested it could be associated with heart risks."
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

OK, so don't eat your tungsten beads!

Tungsten is a heavy metal, any heavy metal is potentially a health hazard when in the body. Even too much iron can be a problem.

I view this as I do lead. Lead by itself is not a problem as it's not soluble. Lead compounds, such as oxides of lead that get into your body can be a problem.

All of these metals occur naturally & we can be exposed to them in one form or another without even knowing it.

I'm not going to stop using lead or tungsten but do take precautions when doing so. IMO, a bit of common sense would limit problems resulting from these metals. I don't eat the stuff & don't use it where there's a high risk of ingesting it. It's likely we stand a chance of higher risk of issues with Sun exposure than we do these metals we use in tying flies.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

I'm not changing anything... Still use lead as well... But still a read for us tungsten users... Not trying to get folks to toss their tung but I'm sure there are those who may be concerned

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Old 11-12-2013, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

Just another good reason to utilize a tying technique I call "Poor Man's Tungsten" when tying flies.

After threading the bead onto the hook I use .015 non-lead wire and wrap about 2 to 4 turns onto the hook shank behind the bead depending on the bead size. 3 wraps is adequate for a size 3/32" bead. Tuck the wire under the bead and you have achieved two things - first, you have added more weight to the fly; and second, you have filled in that pesky countersunk hole that seems to swallow thread wraps, especially as you are finishing the fly, apply your last wraps and all of a sudden they disappear under the bead and your flashback is left flapping in the breeze...

The non-lead wire also serves to center the bead on the hook shank when you apply a few thread wraps behind it prior to tying the rest of the fly.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

I wear a tungsten wedding band because gold doesn't hold up to my car hobbies.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

I like heavy metals, I still listen to Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, etc.
You know the classics.

I think tungsten is much safer than lead and better for the environment although they are more expensive than lead. I changed most of my conventional fishing tackles from lead to tungsten.

Just last night, I was rigging my spinning tackles for this weekend lazy day trout powerbait fishing with some friends (Non flyers). I used some of the lead egg weights and I could taste the lead in my tongue. Yuck!
I hope my friends will bring some beers and chips to make me forget about using them.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Tungsten Linked With Increased Stroke Risk

Kelly, good tip! However, I guess you're using brass beads, as you don't say, but aren't you concerned about the possibility of lead in the brass?

Seems I read that most metals such as copper or brass have trace amounts of lead & other metals, even possibly arsenic mixed in them, and might be a concern due to leaching.

IMO, we can get very carried away with all of this, but I seriously doubt it will affect any of us to any degree as far as fly tying goes.

Keep the darn beads & wire out of your mouth!
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