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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Toxicological and epidemiological studies on effects of airborne fibers: coherence and public [corrected] health implications.

Authors: Lippmann, Morton

Published In Crit Rev Toxicol, (2014 Sep)

Abstract: Airborne fibers, when sufficiently biopersistent, can cause chronic pleural diseases, as well as excess pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancers. Mesothelioma and pleural plaques are caused by biopersistent fibers thinner than ∼0.1 μm and longer than ∼5 μm. Excess lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis are caused by biopersistent fibers that are longer than ∼20 μm. While biopersistence varies with fiber type, all amphibole and erionite fibers are sufficiently biopersistent to cause pathogenic effects, while the greater in vivo solubility of chrysotile fibers makes them somewhat less causal for the lung diseases, and much less causal for the pleural diseases. Most synthetic vitreous fibers are more soluble in vivo than chrysotile, and pose little, if any, health pulmonary or pleural health risk, but some specialty SVFs were sufficiently biopersistent to cause pathogenic effects in animal studies. My conclusions are based on the following: 1) epidemiologic studies that specified the origin of the fibers by type, and especially those that identified their fiber length and diameter distributions; 2) laboratory-based toxicologic studies involving fiber size characterization and/or dissolution rates and long-term observation of biological responses; and 3) the largely coherent findings of the epidemiology and the toxicology. The strong dependence of effects on fiber diameter, length, and biopersistence makes reliable routine quantitative exposure and risk assessment impractical in some cases, since it would require transmission electronic microscopic examination, of representative membrane filter samples, for determining statistically sufficient numbers of fibers longer than 5 and 20 μm, and those thinner than 0.1 μm, based on the fiber types.

PubMed ID: 25168068 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants/chemistry; Air Pollutants/pharmacokinetics; Air Pollutants/toxicity*; Animals; Asbestos, Serpentine/chemistry; Asbestos, Serpentine/toxicity; Epidemiologic Studies; Humans; Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects*; Lung Neoplasms/chemically induced; Lung Neoplasms/epidemiology; Mesothelioma/chemically induced; Mesothelioma/epidemiology; Particulate Matter/pharmacokinetics; Particulate Matter/toxicity*; Public Health; Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced; Pulmonary Fibrosis/epidemiology; Risk Assessment; Solubility

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