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Crit Rev Toxicol. 2013 Feb;43(2):154-83. doi: 10.3109/10408444.2012.756454.

Health risk of chrysotile revisited.

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  • 1davidb@itox.ch

Abstract

This review provides a basis for substantiating both kinetically and pathologically the differences between chrysotile and amphibole asbestos. Chrysotile, which is rapidly attacked by the acid environment of the macrophage, falls apart in the lung into short fibers and particles, while the amphibole asbestos persist creating a response to the fibrous structure of this mineral. Inhalation toxicity studies of chrysotile at non-lung overload conditions demonstrate that the long (>20 µm) fibers are rapidly cleared from the lung, are not translocated to the pleural cavity and do not initiate fibrogenic response. In contrast, long amphibole asbestos fibers persist, are quickly (within 7 d) translocated to the pleural cavity and result in interstitial fibrosis and pleural inflammation. Quantitative reviews of epidemiological studies of mineral fibers have determined the potency of chrysotile and amphibole asbestos for causing lung cancer and mesothelioma in relation to fiber type and have also differentiated between these two minerals. These studies have been reviewed in light of the frequent use of amphibole asbestos. As with other respirable particulates, there is evidence that heavy and prolonged exposure to chrysotile can produce lung cancer. The importance of the present and other similar reviews is that the studies they report show that low exposures to chrysotile do not present a detectable risk to health. Since total dose over time decides the likelihood of disease occurrence and progression, they also suggest that the risk of an adverse outcome may be low with even high exposures experienced over a short duration.

PMID:
23346982
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3581056
Free PMC Article
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