Scanning electron microscopy of lung tissue, ashed at low temperature, and obtained from an insulation worker who had died of pleural mesothelioma, showed the presence of numerous inorganic particles and fibres. A regional variation in fibre concentration in different tissue samples was found, and the size distribution of naked fibres and asbestos bodies was determined. By energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis the fibres were identified mainly as amphibole asbestos. This method also showed the presence of particles containing titanium and of fragments of diatom shells. Despite a mean concentration of 33 x 10(6) fibres per gram of dry tissue no significant lung fibrosis was found.
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