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EMU Notes in Mineralogy - volume 18

Mineral fibres: Crystal chemistry, chemical-physical properties, biological interaction and toxicity
(A.F. Gualtieri, editor)


Chapter 15. Towards a general model for predicting the toxicity and pathogenicity of mineral fibres
by A. F. Gualtieri, B. T. Mossman and V. L. Roggli

This chapter provides a comprehensive description of the physical, chemical, biological and mineralogical parameters that play a role in determining the toxicity and pathogenicity of mineral fibres. The first steps towards a general toxicity/pathogenicity model of mineral fibres are described here. Eventually the model can be generalized and may be applied to biodurable man-made mineral fibres and other natural and synthetic fibres in addition to silicates. Because of the complexity of the topic, a truly multidisciplinary approach is essential. A concept that will be stressed in the final notes of the chapter is that a full understanding of the toxicity/pathogenicity of mineral fibres aimed at finding effective solutions for the prevention and treatment of asbestos-related diseases can only be the outcome if an holistic approach is applied which takes advantage of synergistic research activity and communication between biochemists, mineralogists/ crystallographers, pathologists, physicians, physicists and toxicologists, all sharing their distinct but interrelated perspectives. This is a great challenge for all such scientific individuals to work together to resolve and develop predictivemodels that incorporate their research findings and conclusions.

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