Hemolysis by asbestos

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Australian Atomic Energy Commission
Various experimental factors that affect hemolysis by crocidolite and chrysotile were studied. Microscopic observations of cell-fibre interactions were made using a video-scanning technique. The same general pattern of hemolysis can be observed for the two asbestos materials: attachment of a cell to asbestos fibre is an essential requirement for hemolysis; hemolysis of a cell is preceded by a prolytic stage in which the optical density of the cell does not change; hemolysis is a comparatively sudden event in which hemoglobin is released over a period of about 30 s. Nevertheless, significant differences can be observed in the interaction of the two materials with erythrocytes, namely: (i) there are observable differences in the mode of attachment of cells to fibre. These presumably arise from the differing surface properties of the two minerals. (ii) the duration of prolysis observed for crocidolite is very much greater than for chrysotile, so the rates of hemolysis are correspondingly less. (iii) the duration of prolysis is, on average, reduced by increasing the extent of agitation of cell-crocidolite suspension. These results suggest that boundary layer diffusion may be an important factor in determining rates of prolytic transport phenomena.
Hemolysis, Hemoglobin, Boundary layers, Asbestos
Stuart, W. I., & Price, G. H. (1980). Hemolysis by asbestos. (AAEC/E487). Lucas Heights, NSW: Australian Atomic Energy Commission.