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In vitro investigations relevant to the biosolubility of man-made vitreous fibres

: Böhm, T.; Sebastian, K.

International glass review 2 (1997), S.53-55
Fraunhofer ISC ()
Asbest; Biobeständigkeit; Faserstoff; Glasfaser; krebserregende Wirkung

Asbestos fibres have been shown to cause cancer and there is increasing concern that man-made vitreous fibres, commonly used for insulation purposes, may also cause similar effects as a result of their fibrous geometry. The exact mechanisms of the asbestos carcinogenesis are not yet fully understood but there are two main factors of influence: fibrous geometry and biopersistence. Biopersistence describes the time that an inhaled fibre remains in the lung. According to the German TRGS 905 (technical rules for hazardous materials) definition (1) a fibre has to be considered as potentially carcinogenic if the dimensions are: length >5um, diameter <2um, ratio of length to diameter >3 and if the biopersistence is sufficiently high. The measurement of the biopersistence is usually carried out in animal tests (2). Fibres are applied either by inhalation or instillation and the number of remaining fibres in the animal lung is counted after certain time periods. Assuming a first order reaction a half life time for the fibre is calculated and used as a measure for the biopersistence.