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Association of Metsovo lung and pleural mesothelioma with exposure to tremolite-containing whitewash.
Langer AM; Nolan RP; Constantopoulos SH; Moutsopoulos HM
Lancet 1987 Apr; 329(8539):965-967
Asbestiform tremolite (14567738) which was used as a whitewash by the inhabitants of four small villages in northwestern Greece, was investigated. The studies were prompted after discovery during a radiological tuberculosis survey, of evidence indicating the occurrence of pleural thickening and plaques, reduced lung function, the presence of tremolite fibers in the transbronchial biopsy specimens and reported incidences of pleural mesothelioma amounting to 1 percent of total mortality among the inhabitants of the villages. The optical properties of the fibers tested were consistent with tremolite. Morphologically, they resembled short asbestos fibers. X-ray diffraction analysis of the whitewash demonstrated that it consisted primarily of tremolite, with small amounts of chlorite (1318598) and traces of magnesite (546930). Electron microscopic analysis of the fine fraction demonstrated features resembling asbestos fibers. The cytotoxic activity of the tremolite whitewash was shown to be greater than that of crocidolite (12001284) and amosite (12172735), but lower than that of chrysotile (12001295). The authors conclude that the tremolite examined appears to be responsible for the etiology of mesothelioma observed in the villages in question.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Mineral-dusts; Lung-cancer; Toxicology; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Diagnostic-techniques; Epidemiology; Dust-analysis; Analytical-methods; Cytotoxicity
14567-73-8; 1318-59-8; 546-93-0; 12001-28-4; 12172-73-5; 12001-29-5
Issue of Publication
Industrial Environ Health Scis University of Pittsburgh 130 Desoto Street Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division