The strong relation between inhaled asbestos fibers and development of important respiratory diseases (asbestosis, pulmonary carcinoma, mesothelioma) is now demonstrated by many researches and accepted by the international community. The peculiarity of the minerals defined by the law “asbestos” is their growth as long and thin fibers that, as a consequence of the crystal habit, reach the respiratory apparatus, where may lie during long times –decades- displaying their carcinogenic effects. The longer asbestos fibers may be coated by iron-proteins, forming the well-known “ferruginous bodies”, which represent a way to isolate the fiber in the biological system . It must be remarked that the observation of fibers or ferruginous bodies allow to prove exposure, environmental or working, to asbestos. Nevertheless “ferruginous bodies” may be formed also around elongated minerals/crystals, not belonging to asbestos group. In order to determine surely exposure to asbestos it appears therefore very important to recognize the chemical composition of the fiber inside the coating and identify the mineral phase. A new methodology allowing the sure identification of the mineral phase of a fiber coated in a “ferruginous body” , using Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (E-SEM) coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), will be presented.
Our University is placed near Casale Monferrato, a town of Piedmont, Italy, sadly famous for the high incidence of asbestos related diseases, in particular mesothelioma, as consequence of the presence of an Eternit factory working large contents of asbestos until 1985. In several patients suffering of mesothelioma also serious disorders of the biliary tract and/or of the gallbladder have been often diagnosed. Nevertheless, the seriousness of the damages to the respiratory system reduce the attention to other organs. In order to determine the presence of asbestos fibers in the gallbladder or in the biliary tract of patients suffering both of mesothelioma and of disorders in this gland, histological sections of gallbladder and of bile have been observed under E-SEM/EDS. All the inorganic phases observed have been characterized under their morphological and chemical aspects . By this work it can be proved the presence of asbestos fibers or bundles of asbestos fibers, as shown in the figure, in particular of crocidolite and chrysotile, in almost all the examined sections. The results obtained during this work will be presented and discussed.
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To cite this abstract:Caterina Rinaudo, Alessandro Croce, Nicol Francesca Trincheri, Roberta Libener, Daniela Degiovanni, Federica Grosso; Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy applied to the identification of asbestos fibers in histological sections. The 16th European Microscopy Congress, Lyon, France. https://emc-proceedings.com/abstract/environmental-scanning-electron-microscopy-applied-to-the-identification-of-asbestos-fibers-in-histological-sections/. Accessed: October 21, 2021
EMC Abstracts - https://emc-proceedings.com/abstract/environmental-scanning-electron-microscopy-applied-to-the-identification-of-asbestos-fibers-in-histological-sections/