The marked difference in biopersistence and pathological response between chrysotile and amphibole asbestos has been well documented. This study is unique in that it has examined a commercial chrysotile product that was used as a joint compound. The pathological response was quantified in the lung and translocation of fibers to and pathological response in the pleural cavity determined. This paper presents the final results from the study. Rats were exposed by inhalation 6 h/day for 5 days to a well-defined fiber aerosol. Subgroups were examined through 1 year.
The translocation to and pathological response in the pleura was examined by scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy (CM) using noninvasive methods. The number and size of fibers was quantified using transmission electron microscopy and CM. This is the first study to use such techniques to characterize fiber translocation to and the response of the pleural cavity. Amosite fibers were found to remain partly or fully imbedded in the interstitial space through 1 year and quickly produced granulomas (0 days) and interstitial fibrosis (28 days). Amosite fibers were observed penetrating the visceral pleural wall and were found on the parietal pleural within 7 days postexposure with a concomitant inflammatory response seen by 14 days. Pleural fibrin deposition, fibrosis, and adhesions were observed, similar to that reported in humans in response to amphibole asbestos. No cellular or inflammatory response was observed in the lung or the pleural cavity in response to the chrysotile and sanded particles (CSP) exposure.
These results provide confirmation of the important differences between CSP and amphibole asbestos.