Fluoro-edenite and carbon nanotubes: The health impact of ‘asbestos-like’ fibers

Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 2016 January [Link]

Miozzi E, Rapisarda V, Marconi A, Costa C, Polito I, Spandidos DA, Libra M, Fenga C.


Several decades have passed since Wagner et al demonstrated a causal link between asbestos fibre inhalation and the development of pleural mesothelioma in 1960. It was later suggested that pleural plaques are a benign consequence of exposure to these fibres. Most recently, a significant association between exposure to asbestos and cancer diagnosed at various sites, such as the peritoneum, stomach, pharynx, colon and ovaries has been demonstrated. The great concerns about public health that arose from the scientific evidence presented above have led to the banning of asbestos in several countries. Over the years, the suspicion that particles with a high aspect ratio may have asbestos-like pathogenicity has been supported by increasing evidence. Natural occurring minerals, as well as man-made fibres, have proven capable of inducing either chronic inflammation of serous membranes, or, in some cases, the development of peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma. The pathogenic role of both fluoro-edenite and carbon nanotubes, two ‘asbestos-like’ fibres is summarized and discussed in this review. The data presented herein support the notion that occupational exposure to these two types of fibre contributes to the development of different types of cancer.