Next Article in Journal
Editorial for Special Issue “Microtexture Characterization of Rocks and Minerals”
Next Article in Special Issue
Respirable Coal Mine Dust: A Review of Respiratory Deposition, Regulations, and Characterization
Previous Article in Journal
Digital Twins with Distributed Particle Simulation for Mine-to-Mill Material Tracking
Previous Article in Special Issue
Health Risks and Source Analysis of Heavy Metal Pollution from Dust in Tianshui, China
Review

Asbestiform Amphiboles and Cleavage Fragments Analogues: Overview of Critical Dimensions, Aspect Ratios, Exposure and Health Effects

1
Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences (DISTAV), University of Genoa, Corso Europa 26, I-16132 Genoa, Italy
2
Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Emily Sarver and David Cliff
Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 13 May 2021 / Accepted: 14 May 2021 / Published: 16 May 2021
The term asbestos refers to a group of serpentine (chrysotile) and amphibole (amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite) minerals with a fibrous habit. Their chemical-physical properties make them one of the most important inorganic materials for industrial purposes and technological applications. However, the extraction, use and marketing of these minerals have been prohibited due to proven harmful effects, mainly involving the respiratory system. In addition to the known six minerals classified as asbestos, the natural amphiboles and serpentine polymorphs antigorite and lizardite, despite having the same composition of asbestos, do not have the same morphology. These minerals develop chemical and geometric (length > 5 μm, width < 3 μm and length: diameter > 3:1), but not morphological, analogies with asbestos, which is regulated by the WHO. The debate about their potential hazardous properties is open and ongoing; therefore, their morphological characterization has a key role in establishing a reliable asbestos hazard scenario. This review focuses on evaluating the most relevant papers, evidencing the need for a reappraisal. Different in vitro, in vivo and epidemiological studies report information about cleavage fragments with critical dimensions similar to asbestos fibres, but very few works target fragments below 5 µm in length. Breathable smaller fibres could have deleterious effects on human health and cannot be disregarded from the risk assessment process. Furthermore, a few studies suggest that the carcinogenic nature of short fibres is not excluded. This review highlights that it is worth investigating the effects of this size range of elongated mineral particles and fibres. View Full-Text
Keywords: asbestos; nonasbestiform; environmental exposure; occupational exposure; particle size asbestos; nonasbestiform; environmental exposure; occupational exposure; particle size
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Militello, G.M.; Gaggero, L.; La Maestra, S. Asbestiform Amphiboles and Cleavage Fragments Analogues: Overview of Critical Dimensions, Aspect Ratios, Exposure and Health Effects. Minerals 2021, 11, 525. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min11050525

AMA Style

Militello GM, Gaggero L, La Maestra S. Asbestiform Amphiboles and Cleavage Fragments Analogues: Overview of Critical Dimensions, Aspect Ratios, Exposure and Health Effects. Minerals. 2021; 11(5):525. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min11050525

Chicago/Turabian Style

Militello, Gaia M., Laura Gaggero, and Sebastiano La Maestra. 2021. "Asbestiform Amphiboles and Cleavage Fragments Analogues: Overview of Critical Dimensions, Aspect Ratios, Exposure and Health Effects" Minerals 11, no. 5: 525. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/min11050525

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop