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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2000;33(4): 477-483.
Asbestos and Non-Asbestos Fiber Content in Lungs of Autopsied Subjects in Pohang with no Known History of Occupational Asbestos Exposure.
Hyun Sul Lim, Ji Yong Kim, Dong Hoon Kim, Kiyoshi Sakai, Naomi Hisanaga
1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University Environmental Health Department.
2Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Dongguk University Environmental Health Department.
3Nagoya City Public Health Research Institute, Japan.
4National Institute of Industrial Health, Ministry of Labor, Japan.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: To obtain reference values for the pulmonary asbestos and non-asbestos fiber contents of residents in Korea and to compare them with similar results from Japan. METHODS: The autopsied lung specimens from 22 deceased people (20 males and 2 females) in Pohang, without any known occupational history of asbestos exposure, were analyzed for incidence of asbestos and non-asbestos fibers by transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis after using low temperature ashing procedures. RESULTS: Chrysotile fiber (46.2%) was the major fiber type found in the lungs of the subjects. The asbestos fiber concentrations found in males and females were 0.09x106 fibers/(g of dry lungs) and 0.30x106 fibers/(g of dry lungs), respectively, showing a geometric mean concentration 0.09x106 fibers/(g of dry lung tissue), due to the predominance of males in the sample. The non-asbestos fiber contents in males and females were 4.61x106 fibers/(g of dry lungs) and 17.79x106 fibers/(g of dry lungs), respectively, with a geometric mean concentration 5.21x106 fibers/(g of dry lung tissue). CONCLUSIONS: Residents in Pohang had significantly lower levels of both asbestos and non-asbestos fibers than urban residents in Korea. Furthermore, Koreans had significantly lower levels of both asbestos and non-asbestos fibers than Japanese.
Key words: Asbestos; Non-asbestos fiber; Reference value; Lung; Korean
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