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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in asbestos
Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Cardno ChemRisk scientists recently published History of Knowledge and Evolution of Occupational Health and Regulatory Aspects of Asbestos Exposure Science: 1900-1975" in the Critical Reviews in Toxicology journal.  The article provides a comprehensive review regarding the evolution of the foundation of occupational medicine and industrial hygiene knowledge with respect to asbestos and its risks from the early 1900s until the early-to-mid 1970s. In this review, we present the decisions, insights, challenges, and hallmark scientific discoveries that had the greatest impact on the historical actions of industrial hygienists in characterizing asbestos exposure and risk. 

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Dr. Christy Barlow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (720) 305-5837.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Scientists at Cardno ChemRisk recently published a study titled “Anthophyllite asbestos: state of the science review” in the Journal of Applied Toxicology. The purpose of this research was to provide a comprehensive review of the toxicological, epidemiological and regulatory knowledge regarding anthophyllite and to understand how it compares to other types of asbestos. It also serves to give an overview of the available published literature on anthophyllite, including the occurrence of anthophyllite in talc and related health effects.

The authors reviewed publicly available documents on anthophyllite discussing its use, mining, properties, toxicity, exposure, and any potential health hazards. Based on their research, the authors found that:

·         Anthophyllite has been less researched than other asbestos types.

·         Anthophyllite can be found as a trace element or contaminant of other asbestos or talc deposits.

·         In studies from the 1970s and onward, it was reported that significant anthophyllite exposure in animal studies can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

·         A study of Finnish Anthophyllite miners in the 1970s found exposure to anthophyllite caused asbestosis and lung cancer, but not mesothelioma, which was not linked with human exposure to anthophyllite until the mid-1990s.

·         Because of the lack of research on anthophyllite specifically, characterizing the health risks associated with exposure is difficult.

Overall, the authors concluded that anthophyllite may be more potent than other types of asbestos in causing asbestosis, but less potent in causing mesothelioma. However, further research is needed to fully understand the toxicity of pure anthophyllite.

The abstract of the article is available here. If you would like a full copy of the paper, or if you have any questions regarding its content, please contact Dr. Shannon Gaffney.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Mark your calendars for March 13-16, 2016, and visit us at the Society of Toxicology's 55th Annual Meeting, where our scientists will be presenting 18 posters! These posters cover a variety of topics including, ambient asbestos concentrations in the United States, the risks associated with arsenic exposure from wine consumption, and an exposure and risk assessment of lead in chocolate. Please click the links below to read our available accepted abstracts:

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Posted by on in Risk Communication

Posted on behalf of the author, Kevin Towle

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Posted by on in Health & Environmental Risk Assessment
Posted on behalf of the author, Michael Ierardi

Although asbestos has not been mined in the United States since 2002, the U.S. EPA is currently managing at least five active Superfund sites associated with impacted soil at former asbestos manufacturing facilities. Activity-based sampling at the BoRit site in Ambler, Pennsylvania has shown that asbestos fibers could potentially be released during remediation activities resulting in residential airborne concentrations of up to 0.13 fibers/cc. Therefore, in situ remediation of asbestos-impacted soil has been an active area of soil science research.

While the exact biological mechanism(s) by which asbestos exerts toxic effects is unknown, some studies have found that fiber mineral iron content may be an important factor contributing to asbestos fiber toxicity. In fact, crocidolite—one of the most biologically harmful types of asbestos—can contain up to 29% iron within its crystalline structure. Once inside the body, the iron in asbestos can become toxic, generating hydroxyl radicals, which are highly reactive compounds that are responsible for DNA damage. Yet, recent research points to promising species of soil fungi that may be able to attenuate asbestos toxicity while in the environment.

Researchers in Italy have collectively studied 12 different species of fungi that grow and thrive in serpentine-rich (i.e., asbestos-containing) soils, which are typically inhospitable environments. They found that over half of the sampled species produced iron-chelating compounds called siderophores in the presence of asbestos fibers, effectively encapsulating the fibers within the fungi’s hyphae matrix. The researchers noted that numerous organisms have developed these types of mechanisms in order to collect iron from the mineral-poor soils in which they grow. They concluded that these fungi’s iron-scavenging techniques could prove to be extremely useful in the bioremediation of asbestos-containing soils.

For more information, please visit the link below:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es060881v
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