Tungsten, Urine

Diagnostic Use

Current uses are as electrodes, heating elements and field emitters, and as filaments in light bulbs and cathode ray tubes. Tungsten is commonly used in heavy metal alloys such as high speed steel, from which cutting tools are manufactured. It is also used in the so-called 'superalloys' to form wear-resistant coatings.
Tungsten is a naturally occurring element. Exposure to very low levels of tungsten may occur by breathing air, eating food, or drinking water that contains tungsten. No specific health effects have been associated with exposure to tungsten in humans.
Exposure to high levels of tungsten is unlikely.

Tungsten was used extensively for the filaments of old-style incandescent light bulbs, but these have been phased out in many countries. This is because they are not very energy efficient; they produce much more heat than light.

Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals and is alloyed with other metals to strengthen them. Tungsten and its alloys are used in many high-temperature applications, such as arc-welding electrodes and heating elements in high-temperature furnaces.

Tungsten carbide is immensely hard and is very important to the metal-working, mining and petroleum industries. It is made by mixing tungsten powder and carbon powder and heating to 2200°C. It makes excellent cutting and drilling tools, including a new ‘painless’ dental drill which spins at ultra-high speeds.

Calcium and magnesium tungstates are widely used in fluorescent lighting.

Tungsten is the heaviest metal to have a known biological role. Some bacteria use tungsten in an enzyme to reduce carboxylic acids to aldehydes


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Aliquot to Core laboratory for UCRN

Turnaround Time

15 days

Test Code