Monitoring of airborne asbestos fibers in an urban ambient air of Shahryar City, Iran: levels, spatial distribution, seasonal variations, and health risk assessment

  • Farhad TaghizadehEmail author
  • Ahmad Jonidi Jafari
  • Mitra Gholami
  • Majid Kermani
  • Hossein ArfaeiniaEmail author
  • Saeid Mohammadi
  • Mohsen Dowlati
  • Abbas Shahsavani
Research Article


Asbestos, as with other pollutants in the air, has adverse effects on the health of human beings and animals. Today, the relationship between presence of asbestos fibers in the air breathed by humans and developing serious diseases such as lung cancer (asbestosis) and mesothelioma has been proven. This study was designed and conducted within the time period of August 2017 and June 2018 to determine the concentration of asbestos fiber in the ambient air of Shahryar City and to evaluate their health effects for the general population of the city. For this purpose, samples were taken from four points, and overall 32 air samples were taken along the year. The samples were then analyzed by the phase contrast microscopy (PCM) method. Also, to investigate the type of asbestos and for more accurate counting of fibers, SEM analysis was utilized. Finally, based on the EPA IRIS method, the health effects resulting from asbestos risks were also evaluated. The results of this study indicated that the mean annual concentration of asbestos fiber in the ambient air of Shahryar City was obtained as 0.0019 f/ml PCM and 0.0072 f/ml SEM. Furthermore, the most polluted point was S1 point (0.0119 –0.0026 f/ml, PCM), while the lowest concentration was related to S4 point (0.001 f/ml PCM–0.0021 f/ml SEM). The mean annual risk resulting from airborne asbestos fiber in the ambient air of Shahryar City for all samples was obtained as 1.72 × 10−6 to 2.2 × 10−4, which was higher than the recommended risk range in some points.


Air quality Asbestos fibers Risk assessment Shahryar City 


Funding information

The authors received financial and technical support (Grant No. 31563) for this research from the Environmental and Occupational Health Center and Iran University of Medical Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhad Taghizadeh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ahmad Jonidi Jafari
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mitra Gholami
    • 1
    • 2
  • Majid Kermani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hossein Arfaeinia
    • 3
    Email author
  • Saeid Mohammadi
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mohsen Dowlati
    • 1
  • Abbas Shahsavani
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Research Center for Environmental Health TechnologyIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthBushehr University of Medical SciencesBushehrIran
  4. 4.Department of Cancer Research CenterTehranIran
  5. 5.Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  6. 6.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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