Letter | Published:

Haemolytic Activity of Asbestos and other Mineral Dusts

Naturevolume 214pages522523 (1967) | Download Citation



SILICA in the particulate form has been shown to have a lytic action on intracellular structures1–3 and on erythrocytes3,4. The present investigation has shown that chrysotile asbestos is as potent a haemolytic agent as silica powder. Other forms of asbestos lysed erythrocytes only after prolonged incubation with them, and a wide range of mineral dusts was inactive. The haemolytic action of chrysotile was completely prevented by disodium versenate and simple phosphates but only partially by polyvinylpyridine-N-oxide and aluminium, both of which protect cells against lysis by silica1.

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  1. South African Institute for Medical Research, P.O. Box 1038, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa

    •  & J. S. HARINGTON


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