Mouse peritoneal macrophages were used to evaluate the relative cytotoxicity of a series of diatomaceous earth products in vitro. The amorphous and crystalline silica content of the products was determined by a combination of infrared spectroscopy and x ray powder diffraction techniques. The cytotoxicities of the high cristobalite content flux calcined materials were similar to that of the standard cristobalite ; both the natural and straight calcined materials had significantly greater activities than the flux calcined materials. Thus within the limitations of the macrophage cytotoxicity test the hypothesis that crystalline content is the only determinant of fibrogenicity of diatomaceous earth is not supported.
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