Nowadays, fibrous minerals pose as significant health hazards to humans, and exposure to these fibers can lead to the development of severe pulmonary diseases. This work investigated the morphology, crystal structure, chemistry, and surface activity of fibrous ferrierite recently found in northern Italy through an integrated approach using scanning electron microscopy–energy dispersive spectroscopy, electron microprobe, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, X-ray powder diffraction, and electron paramagnetic resonance. Our results show that a notable amount of ferrierite fibers are breathable (average length ~22 m, average diameter 0.9 m, diameter-length ratio >> 1:3) and able to reach the alveolar space (average Dae value 2.5 m). The prevailing extraframework cations are in the Mg > (Ca K) relationship, R is from 0.81 to 0.83, and the Si/Al ratio is high (4.2–4.8). The bond distances suggest the occurrence of some degree of Si,Al ordering, with Al showing a site-specific occupation preference T1 > T2 > T3 > T4. Ferrierite fibers show high amounts of adsorbed EPR probes, suggesting a high ability to adsorb and interact with related chemicals. According to these results, fibrous ferrierite can be considered a potential health hazard, and a precautionary approach should be applied when this material is handled. Future in vitro and in vivo tests are necessary to provide further experimental confirmation of the outcome of this work.

Fibrous Ferrierite from Northern Italy: Mineralogical Characterization, Surface Properties, and Assessment of Potential Toxicity

Mattioli, Michele;Cangiotti, Michela;Meli, Maria Assunta;Roselli, Carla;Giordani, Matteo
2022

Abstract

Nowadays, fibrous minerals pose as significant health hazards to humans, and exposure to these fibers can lead to the development of severe pulmonary diseases. This work investigated the morphology, crystal structure, chemistry, and surface activity of fibrous ferrierite recently found in northern Italy through an integrated approach using scanning electron microscopy–energy dispersive spectroscopy, electron microprobe, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, X-ray powder diffraction, and electron paramagnetic resonance. Our results show that a notable amount of ferrierite fibers are breathable (average length ~22 m, average diameter 0.9 m, diameter-length ratio >> 1:3) and able to reach the alveolar space (average Dae value 2.5 m). The prevailing extraframework cations are in the Mg > (Ca K) relationship, R is from 0.81 to 0.83, and the Si/Al ratio is high (4.2–4.8). The bond distances suggest the occurrence of some degree of Si,Al ordering, with Al showing a site-specific occupation preference T1 > T2 > T3 > T4. Ferrierite fibers show high amounts of adsorbed EPR probes, suggesting a high ability to adsorb and interact with related chemicals. According to these results, fibrous ferrierite can be considered a potential health hazard, and a precautionary approach should be applied when this material is handled. Future in vitro and in vivo tests are necessary to provide further experimental confirmation of the outcome of this work.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2705631
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