Fiber Analysis And The Asbestos Exposure Menace

To determine determine the types of asbestos fibers associated with the mesothelioma, careful analysis of lung and mesothelial tissues must be done.  A research called Asbestos-induced lung disease by A. R. Brody.Here is an excerpt: This review attempts to deal with two major questions concerning asbestos-induced lung disease: How does inhaled asbestos cause cell proliferation and fibrosis? Will there continue to be risk from exposure to asbestos in schools and public buildings? The first is a scientific question that has spawned many interesting new experiments over the past 10 years, and there appear to be two hypothetical schemes which could explain, at least in part, the fibroproliferative effects of asbestos fibers.

One supports the view that toxic oxygen radicals generated on fiber surfaces and/or intracellularly are the central mediators of disease. The second hypothesis is not mutually exclusive of the first, but, in my opinion, may be integral to it, i.e., the cellular injury induced by oxygen radicals stimulates the elaboration of multiple varieties of growth factors and cytokines that mediate the pathogenesis of asbestosis. There is increasing evidence that molecules such as platelet-derived growth factor and transforming growth factor beta, both synthesized and secreted by activated lung macrophages, are responsible, respectively, for the increased interstitial cell populations and extracellular matrix proteins that are the hallmarks of asbestos-induced fibrosis. The challenge today is to establish which combinations of the many factors released actually are playing a role in disease pathogenesis. The issue of continued risk currently is more a question of policy and perception than science because a sufficient database has not yet been established to allow full knowledge of the circumstances under which asbestos in buildings constitutes an ongoing health hazard. The litigious nature of this question does not help its resolution. In as much as public policy statements and risk assessment are not within my purview, I have focused on the state-of-the-art of asbestos as a complete carcinogen. It appears to be generally nongenotoxic, but all asbestos fiber types can induce chromosomal mutations and aneuploidy, perhaps through their ability to disrupt normal chromosome segregation.

Another interesting study is called Asbestos Fibers Contributing to the Induction of Human Malignant Mesothelioma by Yasunosuke Suzuki, Steven R. Yuen – Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences – Volume 982, Carcinogenesis Bioassays and Protecting Public Health: Commemorating The Lifework Of Cesare Maltoni And Colleagues pages 160176, December 2002. Here is an excerpt: Abstract: To elucidate the features of the asbestos fibers contributing to the induction of human malignant mesothelioma, we used high-resolution analytical electron microscopy to determine the type, number, and dimensions of asbestos fibers in lung and mesothelial tissues in 168 cases of mesothelioma.

The results of the study are :

  1. Asbestos fibers were present in almost all of the lung and mesothelial tissues from the mesothelioma cases.
  2. admixture of chrysotile with amphiboles, amphibole alone, and occasionally chrysotile alone are the most common types of asbestos fibers in lung. In mesothelial tissues, most asbestos fibers were chrysotile.
  3. In lung, amosite fibers were greatest in number followed by chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite/actinolite, and anthophyllite.
  4. The only asbestos fibers detected in either lung or mesothelial tissue were chrysotile fibers. It happend in some mesothelioma cases.
  5. The average number of asbestos fibers in both lung and mesothelial tissues was greater than the number found in the general population at least two orders of magnitude.
  6. The majority of asbestos fibers in lung and mesothelial tissues were shorter than 5 m in length.

Read the studies in entirety if you find these helpful and interesting.  We all owe a great debt to these researchers for their important work.


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