EMU Volume 18 – Chapter 15

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 a 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 predictive models that incorporate their research findings and conclusions.

Go to the table of contents for this book

Go to the Mineralogical Society’s online shop to buy a copy of the book from which this chapter is taken.