Measurements of asbestos burden in tissues

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences . 2006 Sep;1076:281-91. [Link]

Ronald F Dodsona and Mark A.L Atkinsonb

a ERI Consulting, Inc., Tyler, Texas 75701, USA
The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Tyler, Texas 75708-3154, USA

Address for correspondence: Ronald F. Dodson, ERI Consulting, Inc., 2026 Republic Drive, SteA, Tyler, TX 75701. Voice: 903-534-5001; fax: 903-534-8701.  e-mail:


Asbestos inhaled into the lung is recognized as a potential causal agent for the development of diseases in man. The diseases induced by asbestos include lung cancer, fibrosis of the lung (asbestosis), and extrapulmonary tumors including mesothelioma (a tumor of the serosal membrane), as well as fibrosis and other changes in the pleura linings. The cause of these diseases can often be more specifically linked to asbestos exposure once tissue burden of asbestos is established. The asbestos burden in tissue can be defined as the number of asbestos bodies and/or the numbers and types of asbestos fibers found in the tissue. In either of these cases the quality of information is directly dependent on the preparative techniques and instrumentation used in the analysis. The present article will discuss the significance of findings of tissue burden based on both these variables.