Orally Ingested Chrysotile Asbestos Affects Rat Lungs and Pleura

Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health. 2008 Summer;63(2):71-5. [Link]

Hasanoglu HC, Bayram E, Hasanoglu A, Demirag F.

Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Ankara Ataturk Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. hhasanoglu@gmail.com


The authors designed this study to show the effects of orally ingested asbestos on the lungs and pleura. They designated 3 groups of rats: group A (n = 18) was given 1.5 g/L asbestos in water, group B (n = 18) was given 3 g/L asbestos in water, and group C (n = 15), as a control group, was given only water. Histopathological evaluation of lungs and pleura of the rats after 6 months revealed significant mesothelial proliferation and asbestos bodies. After 9 months, more rats exhibited mesothelial proliferation in group B than in group A (p < .05). The number of rats with asbestos bodies in their lungs was greater in group B than in group A. More rats in group B than in group A had asbestos in their spleen. The authors observed mesothelial proliferation in all group B rats at the end of 12 months. Ingested asbestos traveled from the gastrointestinal system to the lungs, likely via a lymphohematological route, leading to mesothelial proliferation, which may lead to malignancies.

Keywords: asbestos, cancer, mesothelioma