The distribution of length and diameter and the aspect ratio of crocidolite asbestos, a mineral substitute for asbestos (wollastonite), a manmade mineral fibre (glass wool), and synthetic fibres (polypropylene and polyacrylonitrite) were determined by light microscopy with phase contrast and, for crocidolite, also with transmission electron microscopy. The synthetic organic fibres and manmade mineral fibre used were of a size exceeding that considered respirable. Respirable materials were given to rats by the intratracheal method and after exposure for a standard time interval the main indices of fibrogenic effects--the total hydroxyproline content, the wet weight of the lung, and the total lipid content in the lung--were estimated. For wollastonite there was a significant increase in these variables in comparison with the controls. The fibrogenicity was considerably less than that of crocidolite and quartz.
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