(1/97) Biological effects of naturally occurring and man-made fibres: in vitro cytotoxicity and mutagenesis in mammalian cells.

Cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of tremolite, erionite and the man-made ceramic (RCF-1) fibre were studied using the human-hamster hybrid A(L) cells. Results from these fibres were compared with those of UICC Rhodesian chrysotile fibres. The A(L) cell mutation assay, based on the S1 gene marker located on human chromosome 11, the only human chromosome contained in the hybrid cell, has been shown to be more sensitive than conventional assays in detecting deletion mutations. Tremolite, erionite and RCF-1 fibres were significantly less cytotoxic to A(L) cells than chrysotile. Mutagenesis studies at the HPRT locus revealed no significant mutant yield with any of these fibres. In contrast, both erionite and tremolite induced dose-dependent S1- mutations in fibre-exposed cells, with the former inducing a significantly higher mutant yield than the latter fibre type. On the other hand, RCF-1 fibres were largely non-mutagenic. At equitoxic doses (cell survival at approximately 0.7), erionite was found to be the most potent mutagen among the three fibres tested and at a level comparable to that of chrysotile fibres. These results indicate that RCF-1 fibres are non-genotoxic under the conditions used in the studies and suggest that the high mesothelioma incidence previously observed in hamster may either be a result of selective sensitivity of hamster pleura to fibre-induced chronic irritation or as a result of prolonged fibre treatment. Furthermore, the relatively high mutagenic potential for erionite is consistent with its documented carcinogenicity.  (+info)

(2/97) Chrysotile, tremolite and fibrogenicity.

Recently published analyses have shown that the risks of mesothelioma and lung cancer in Quebec chrysotile miners and millers were related to estimated level of fibrous tremolite in the mines where they had worked. An analysis has therefore been made of radiographic changes in men who in 1965 were employed by companies in Thetford Mines where the same question could be examined for fibrogenicity. Of 294 men who met the necessary requirements, 129 had worked in six centrally located mines, where the tremolite content was thought to be high, 81 in 10 peripheral mines where it was thought to be low and 84 in both. The median prevalence of small parenchymal opacities (> or = 1/0) in chest radiographs read by six readers was higher among men ever than never employed in the central mines (13.6% against 7.4%), despite the fact that the mean cumulative exposure was lower in the former (430 mpcf.y vs 520 mpcf.y). After accounting by logistic regression for cigarette smoking, age, smoking-age interaction and cumulative exposure, the adjusted odds ratio for central mine employment was 2.44 (95% lower bound: 1.06). Together with other surveys of asbestos miners and millers, this study suggests that amphibole fibres, including tremolite, are more fibrogenic than chrysotile, perhaps to the same extent that they are carcinogenic, though the data available were not sufficient to address the latter question.  (+info)

(3/97) Environmental exposure to tremolite and respiratory cancer in New Caledonia: a case-control study.

A case-control study on respiratory cancers was conducted in New Caledonia (South Pacific), where a high incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma had been observed. The disease pattern suggested an environmental exposure to asbestos. The first results showed that, in some areas, tremolite asbestos derived from local outcroppings was used as whitewash (locally named "po"). All cases diagnosed between 1993 and 1995 (including 15 pleural mesotheliomas, 228 lung cancers, and 23 laryngeal cancers) and 305 controls were included in the study. Detailed information on past or present use of the whitewash, residential history, smoking, diet, and occupation was collected. The risk of mesothelioma was strongly associated with the use of the whitewash (odds ratio (OR) = 40.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.15, 325). All Melanesian cases had been exposed. Among Melanesian women, exposure to the whitewash was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (OR = 4.89; 95% CI: 1.13, 21.2), and smokers exposed to po had an approximately ninefold risk (OR = 9.26; 95% CI: 1.72, 49.7) compared with women who never smoked and had never used the whitewash. In contrast, no association was noted between exposure to po and lung cancer risk among Melanesian men, probably because of lower exposure levels. Among non-Melanesians, the numbers of exposed subjects were too small to assess the effect of exposure to po. There was no indication of elevated risks for the other cancer sites.  (+info)

(4/97) The quantitative risks of mesothelioma and lung cancer in relation to asbestos exposure.

Mortality reports on asbestos exposed cohorts which gave information on exposure levels from which (as a minimum) a cohort average cumulative exposure could be estimated were reviewed. At exposure levels seen in occupational cohorts it is concluded that the exposure specific risk of mesothelioma from the three principal commercial asbestos types is broadly in the ratio 1:100:500 for chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite respectively. For lung cancer the conclusions are less clear cut. Cohorts exposed only to crocidolite or amosite record similar exposure specific risk levels (around 5% excess lung cancer per f/ml.yr); but chrysotile exposed cohorts show a less consistent picture, with a clear discrepancy between the mortality experience of a cohort of xhrysotile textile workers in Carolina and the Quebec miners cohort. Taking account of the excess risk recorded by cohorts with mixed fibre exposures (generally<1%), the Carolina experience looks uptypically high. It is suggested that a best estimate lung cancer risk for chrysotile alone would be 0.1%, with a highest reasonable estimate of 0.5%. The risk differential between chrysotile and the two amphibole fibres for lunc cancer is thus between 1:10 and 1:50. Examination of the inter-study dose response relationship for the amphibole fibres suggests a non-linear relationship for all three cancer endpoints (pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas, and lung cancer). The peritoneal mesothelioma risk is proportional to the square of cumulative exposure, lung cancer risk lies between a linear and square relationship and pleural mesothelioma seems to rise less than linearly with cumulative dose. Although these non-linear relationships provide a best fit ot the data, statistical and other uncertainties mean that a linear relationship remains arguable for pleural and lung tumours (but not or peritoneal tumours). Based on these considerations, and a discussion fo the associated uncertainties, a series of quantified risk summary statements for different elvels of cumulative exposure are presented.  (+info)

(5/97) Amphibole fibres in Chinese chrysotile asbestos.

Ten chrysotile bulk samples originating from six Chinese chrysotile mines were studied for amphibole fibres. Five of the mines operate on ultramafic rocks whereas one exploits a dolomite-hosted deposit. The asbestos fibre content in lung tissue was examined from seven deceased workers of the Shenyang asbestos plant using these raw materials. The bulk samples were pretreated with acid/alkali-digestion, and thereafter, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis, selected area electron diffraction and X-ray powder diffractometry were used to identify the minerals. Sample preparation of lung tissue involved drying and low-temperature ashing. All of the bulk samples contained amphibole fibres as an impurity. The amphibole asbestos contents were between 0.002 and 0.310 w-%. Tremolite fibres were detected in every sample but anthophyllite fibres were present only in the sample originating from the dolomite-hosted deposit. In comparison, anthophyllite (71%), tremolite (9%) and chrysotile (10%) were the main fibre types in the lung tissue samples indicating faster pulmonary clearance of chrysotile fibres. The total levels ranged from 2.4 to 148.3 million fibres (over 1 microm in length) per gram of dry tissue, and they were consistent with heavy occupational exposure to asbestos.  (+info)

(6/97) Erionite bodies and fibres in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of residents from Tuzkoy, Cappadocia, Turkey.

OBJECTIVES: The high incidence of malignant mesothelioma in some villages of Cappadocia (Turkey) is due to environmental exposure to erionite fibres. The aim was to evaluate the fibre burden in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from inhabitants of an erionite village and compare it with Turkish subjects with or without environmental exposure to tremolite asbestos. METHODS: Ferruginous bodies (FBs) and fibres were measured and analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in the BALF of 16 subjects originating from Tuzkoy. RESULTS: FBs were detected in the BALF of 12 subjects, with concentrations above 1 FB/ml in seven of them. Erionite was the central fibre of 95.7% of FBs. Erionite fibres were found in the BALF of all subjects, by TEM, and these fibres were low in Mg, K, and Ca compared with erionite from Tuzkoy soil. The mean concentration of erionite fibres in BALF was similar to that of tremolite fibres in Turks with environmental exposure to tremolite. The proportion of fibres longer than 8 microm in BALF represented 35.6% for erionite compared with 14.0% for tremolite. The asbestos fibre concentrations in erionite villagers was not different from that in Turks without environmental exposure to tremolite. CONCLUSION: Analysis of BALF gives information about fibre retention in populations environmentally exposed to erionite for whom data on fibre burden from lung tissue samples are scarce. This may apply to exposed Turks having emigrated to other countries.  (+info)

(7/97) Dustiness of different high-temperature insulation wools and refractory ceramic fibres.

Recent regulations are encouraging the replacement of older types of man-made mineral fibre by more soluble and, thus, less biopersistent compositions. In order for there to be any health benefits from this policy and to gain maximum benefit from such substitutions, the use of the new materials should not increase exposure. The work reported here was undertaken to investigate the use of new high-temperature glass insulation wools in place of refractory ceramic fibres (RCF). Airborne fibre levels occurring during the manufacture of both RCF and calcium magnesium silicate wools (CMS) were compared using measurements of genuine workplace exposure from a routine monitoring operation on the same plant. Exposures during use were compared in one customer facility where RCF and CMS blankets were used for the same task. Further comparisons were made in a laboratory test of dustiness using a "shaking box test". For some manufacturing tasks there are only a few workplace samples and there are few opportunities for genuine comparisons with both RCF and CMS in identical uses. However, both materials produced very similar exposure levels during manufacture, use and in the laboratory test. The novel magnesium silicate fibre was significantly dustier in the laboratory test.  (+info)

(8/97) p53, p21 and metallothionein immunoreactivities in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma: correlations with the epidemiological features and prognosis of mesotheliomas with environmental asbestos exposure.

The aim of this study is to investigate immunoreactivity for p53, p21 and metallothionein in diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma (DMPM) and to determine the relationships between the age, sex, asbestos exposure time, survival of DMPM patients with environmental asbestos exposure and immunoreactivity to p53, p21 and metallothionein. Sixty-seven histopathologically-confirmed DMPMs, 38 of whom had environmental and 29 had occupational asbestos exposure, were included. The tumour tissue samples were immunostained with antibodies against p53, p21 and metallothionein. Epidemiological data and the survival times for the DMPM patients with environmental asbestos exposures were obtained from hospital records. Thirty-three per cent of the DMPMs were positive for p53, 35% for p21 and 52% for metallothionein. There was no statistical difference between the histological subtypes of DMPM in terms of immunoreactivity for p53, p21 and metallothionein. For p21 and metallothionein there was a statistically significant difference between the exposure characteristics: patients with environmental asbestos exposure had shown more immunopositivity. There were statistically significant differences between age groups and between asbestos exposure times for metallothionein, and between asbestos exposure times and p21. The patients with positive immunostaining had longer exposure times and were older than those having negative immunostaining. The differences between survival of the patients were not statistically significant in terms of the immunohistochemical results for p53, p21 and metallothionein.  (+info)