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Comparative investigations of the biodurability of mineral fibers in the rat lung
The biodurability of various glass fibers, rockwool, and ceramic fibers was examined in rat lungs and compared with natural mineral fibers. Experiments were based on studies that have shown that the biodurability of fibers is one of the essential factors of the carcinogenic potency of these materials. Sized fractions of fibers were instilled intratracheally into Wistar rats. The evenness of distribution of fibers in the lung was checked by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or careful examination of the fiber suspension before treatment. After serial sacrifices up to 24 months after treatment, the fibers were analyzed by SEM following low temperature ashing of the lungs. Parameters measured included number of fibers, diameter, and length distribution at the various sacrifice dates, so that analyses could be made of the elimination kinetics of fibers from the lung in relation to fiber length. (Abstract truncated)