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Am J Ind Med. 1996 Nov;30(5):515-28.

Mineral phases and some reexamined characteristics of the International Union Against Cancer standard asbestos samples.

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National Institute of Industrial Health, Ministry of Labour, Kawasaki, Japan.


Standard asbestos samples to be used for biomedical research were first prepared by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) in 1966 in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Using modern techniques, X-ray diffractometry, analytical transmission electron microscopy, and thermal analysis, we have now analyzed these UICC samples to determine the mineral compositions (mineral phases) and their respective quantities. UICC chrysotile A (from Zimbabwe) contains 2% fibrous anthophyllite as impurity; chrysotile B (from Canada) does not contain any fibrous impurities, only non-fibrous minerals. UICC amosite and crocidolite are almost pure. UICC anthophyllite has 20-30% talc as impurity. The chemical compositions and fiber size distributions of the UICC asbestos samples have also been determined. The mean widths of the fibers of chrysotile A and B are smaller than those of the amphibole fibers. This agrees well with the earlier results which showed the two chrysotile samples to have a larger respirable fraction than the amphiboles.

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