Detoxified Crocidolite Exhibits Reduced Radical Generation which could Explain its Lower Toxicity: ESR and Mossbauer Studies

  • M. Gulumian
  • J. A. van Wyk
  • B. Kolk
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 30)


Asbestos fibres are widely used commercially because of their insulating and friction properties. Exposure to these fibres however can produce asbestosis and cancer of the lung and mesothelium. Attempts have therefore been made to detoxify these fibres to reduce their biological toxicity but retain their desirable characteristics. One such attempt was reported by Flowers (1982). The procedure involved exposure of fibres to ferric ammonium sulfate for 30 min and then the addition of ammonium hydroxide. This modified the surface of the fibres by metal oxides to a metal micelle form of asbestos. This treatment preserved the commercial properties of the fibres but reduced their toxicity to human lung macrophages and decreased the hemolytic activity to red blood cells (Hahon et al. 1986).


Ferric Ammonium Ferric Ammonium Sulfate Untreated Fibre Crocidolite Asbestos Mossbauer Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gulumian
    • 1
  • J. A. van Wyk
    • 2
  • B. Kolk
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for Occupational HealthJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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