Vanadium-containing alloys account for the principal use of this metal and it is often a component of hip prostheses and other implants. Significant exposure can arise from prolonged contact with ash and residues from oil-fired burners which take high viscosity fuel oils.

Vanadium-containing dust causes irritation to skin, eyes and lungs. Ingestion of the dust may result in diarrhoea and vomiting. Long term exposure may cause chronic bronchitis. There is some recent concern over the release of metals from the alloys used in the manufacture of joint prostheses. In a proportion of patients there is a breakdown of the joint with percolation of “wear-particles” leading to the release of this and other alloy components into the body.

Laboratory Indices of Exposure

Vanadium is measured in specimens of urine.

Stokinger HE Chapter 29 – Metals, in Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 3rd Revised Edition, Volume 2A. Eds Clayton GD and Clayton FE. Wiley Interscience, 1981.
Erdmann E, Werdan K, Krawietz W, Schmitz W, Scholz H. Vanadate and its significance in biochemistry and pharmacology. Biochem Pharmacol 1984; 33: 945-50
Arbouine MW, Smith NJ. Determination of vanadium in urine and its application to biological monitoring of occupationally exposed workers. Atomic Spectr 1991; 12: 54-7

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