Pleural Mesothelioma in a Woman Whose Documented Past Exposure to Asbestos was From Smoking Asbestos-Containing Filtered Cigarettes: The Comparative Value of Analytical Transmission Electron Microscopic Analysis of Lung and Lymph-Node Tissue

Inhalation Toxicology. 2006 Aug;18(9):679-84. [Link]

Dodson RF, Hammar SP.

Dodson Environmental Consulting, Inc., and ERI Analytical, Tyler, Texas, USA.


Asbestos has had many commercial applications, including its use as a major component in various types of filters. Between 1952 and 1956, crocidolite asbestos was used as a component of filters for cigarettes, reportedly greatly reducing tars and nicotine from mainstream smoke. This case report quantifies asbestos burden in lung and lymph node tissue in a 67-yr-old woman who succumbed to mesothelioma. Her only historically documented exposure to asbestos was from smoking crocidolite asbestos-containing filtered cigarettes between 1952 and 1956. Tissue digestion analysis by analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM) identified crocidolite fibers in lungs and thoracic lymph nodes. Combined ATEM data of lung and lymph node tissue clarified the patient’s exposure to asbestos and particularly to crocidolite asbestos and thus to the presence of an entity recognized as the causal agent for mesothelioma.