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Quantitative x ray microanalysis of pulmonary mineral particles in a patient with pneumoconiosis and two primary lung tumours.
  1. S Anttila,
  2. S Sutinen,
  3. P Pääkkö,
  4. T Alapieti,
  5. R Peura,
  6. S J Sivonen

    Abstract

    The right upper lung lobe of a 74 year old man was resected for a central tumour. Two primary cancers were found; a central small cell carcinoma and a peripheral squamous cell carcinoma. In addition, the peripheral lung tissue showed generalised peribronchiolar fibrosis extending from the non-respiratory bronchioles to the level of the alveolar ducts. Abundant asbestos bodies and large amounts of black dust were seen around the bronchioles. Pulmonary mineral particles were studied by quantitative energy dispersive x ray microanalysis (EDS) using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The x ray spectra for mineral particles were measured in thin sections, and the characteristic peak intensities of the elements were converted to weight fractions (in oxides). The results enabled the minerals present to be identified and their presence confirmed by calculating the mineral formula. These originated from nine natural minerals, anthophyllite and chrysotile asbestos, talc, and quartz, feldspars, and muscovite, which are components of sand, and also from two artificial mullites used in fire clay. The exposure history of the patient explained the most likely origins of the minerals detected. The patient had been a mason for 23 years, repairing and demolishing stoves and fireplaces and using asbestos for insulation work.

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