Cobalt is an essential, transition group metal present in trace amounts in the human diet, notably in fish, vegetables, and drinking water. It is an integral part of vitamin B12 and is required for oxygen transport in metabolism.
The test process is done with a lab technician drawing out blood from a vein in one’s arm or the back of the hand. After cleaning the area with an antiseptic wipe, the technician wraps a band around the hand in order to create pressure in the area where the needle will then be inserted. Blood is collected in a tube attached to the needle after which the band and needle are taken out. Pressure on the puncture site is added to stop any bleeding.
Although fasting is not necessary, Vitamin B12, Minerals, Vitamin B complex supplements should be avoided 72 hours before a cobalt test is administered.
Serious effects on the lungs, including asthma, pneumonia, and wheezing, have been found in people exposed to 0.005 mg cobalt/m3 while working with hard metal, cobalt, tungsten carbide alloy. People exposed to 0.007 mg cobalt/m3 at work have also developed allergies to cobalt that resulted in asthma and skin rashes.