From a toxicological point of view, particulates and fibres with high solubility in water and/or in biological environments have not been considered in detail and the knowledge to date in this area is very scarce. In this study, the water-soluble natural epsomite fibres from Perticara Mine (Italy) were investigated using SEM-EDS, XRPD, ICP-AES and alpha spectrometry measurements which were combined and integrated to characterise the fibres’ morphology, crystal chemistry and mineralogy. The morphological and morphometric results showed that most of the fibres are of inhalable size (Dae 5.09 μm) and can be potentially adsorbed from all parts of the respiratory tract. Chemical analysis reveals significant amounts of toxic elements (As, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Sr, Ti, Zn) and surprisingly high contents of radioactive isotopes (210Po and 228Th) in epsomite crystals, making the inhalation of these fibres potentially hazardous to human health. Through this study, we want to focus on soluble minerals, such as epsomite, which can be present in both natural and anthropic environments and have never been considered from the point of view of their potential hazard.

Could soluble minerals be hazardous to human health? Evidence from fibrous epsomite

Giordani, Matteo
;
Meli, Maria Assunta;Roselli, Carla;Betti, Michele;Taussi, Marco;Valentini, Laura;Mattioli, Michele
2022

Abstract

From a toxicological point of view, particulates and fibres with high solubility in water and/or in biological environments have not been considered in detail and the knowledge to date in this area is very scarce. In this study, the water-soluble natural epsomite fibres from Perticara Mine (Italy) were investigated using SEM-EDS, XRPD, ICP-AES and alpha spectrometry measurements which were combined and integrated to characterise the fibres’ morphology, crystal chemistry and mineralogy. The morphological and morphometric results showed that most of the fibres are of inhalable size (Dae 5.09 μm) and can be potentially adsorbed from all parts of the respiratory tract. Chemical analysis reveals significant amounts of toxic elements (As, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Sr, Ti, Zn) and surprisingly high contents of radioactive isotopes (210Po and 228Th) in epsomite crystals, making the inhalation of these fibres potentially hazardous to human health. Through this study, we want to focus on soluble minerals, such as epsomite, which can be present in both natural and anthropic environments and have never been considered from the point of view of their potential hazard.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2693349
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