In California, the metamorphic blueschist occurrences within the Franciscan Complex are commonly composed of glaucophane, which can be found with a fibrous habit. Fibrous glaucophane's potential toxicity/pathogenicity has never been determined and it has not been considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a potential carcinogen to date. Notwithstanding, outcrops hosting fibrous glaucophane are being excavated today in California for building/construction purposes (see for example the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project - CDRP). Dust generated by these excavation activities may expose workforces and the general population to this potential natural hazard. In this work, the potential toxicity/pathogenicity of fibrous glaucophane has been determined using the fibre potential toxicity index (FPTI). This model has been applied to a representative glaucophane-rich sample collected at San Anselmo, Marin County (CA, USA), characterized using a suite of experimental techniques to determine morphometric, crystal-chemical parameters, surface reactivity, biodurability and related parameters. With respect to the asbestos minerals, the FPTI of fibrous glaucophane is remarkably higher than that of chrysotile, and comparable to that of tremolite, thus supporting the application of the precautionary approach when excavating fibrous glaucophane-rich blueschist rocks. Because fibrous glaucophane can be considered a potential health hazard, just like amphibole asbestos, it should be taken into consideration in the standard procedures for the identification and assessment of minerals fibres in soil and air samples.

Characterization and assessment of the potential toxicity/pathogenicity of fibrous glaucophane

Dario Di Giuseppe
Primo
;
Matteo Ardit;
2019

Abstract

In California, the metamorphic blueschist occurrences within the Franciscan Complex are commonly composed of glaucophane, which can be found with a fibrous habit. Fibrous glaucophane's potential toxicity/pathogenicity has never been determined and it has not been considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a potential carcinogen to date. Notwithstanding, outcrops hosting fibrous glaucophane are being excavated today in California for building/construction purposes (see for example the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project - CDRP). Dust generated by these excavation activities may expose workforces and the general population to this potential natural hazard. In this work, the potential toxicity/pathogenicity of fibrous glaucophane has been determined using the fibre potential toxicity index (FPTI). This model has been applied to a representative glaucophane-rich sample collected at San Anselmo, Marin County (CA, USA), characterized using a suite of experimental techniques to determine morphometric, crystal-chemical parameters, surface reactivity, biodurability and related parameters. With respect to the asbestos minerals, the FPTI of fibrous glaucophane is remarkably higher than that of chrysotile, and comparable to that of tremolite, thus supporting the application of the precautionary approach when excavating fibrous glaucophane-rich blueschist rocks. Because fibrous glaucophane can be considered a potential health hazard, just like amphibole asbestos, it should be taken into consideration in the standard procedures for the identification and assessment of minerals fibres in soil and air samples.
DI GIUSEPPE, Dario; Harper, Martin; Bailey, Mark; Erskine, Bradley; Della Ventura, Giancarlo; Ardit, Matteo; Pasquali, Luca; Tomaino, Gary; Ray, Robyn; Mason, Harris; Dyar, Melinda D.; Hanuskova, Miriam; Giacobbe, Carlotta; Zoboli, Alessandro; Gualtieri, Alessandro F.
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