Non-asbestiform elongate mineral particles and mesothelioma risk: Human and experimental evidence

Julie E. Goodman, Michael J. Becich, David M. Bernstein, Bruce W. Case, Jeffrey H. Mandel, Andre E. Nel, Robert Nolan, Nnaemeka U. Odo, Steven R. Smith, Emanuela Taioli, Graham Gibbs

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3 Scopus citations


The presentations in this session of the Monticello II conference were aimed at summarizing what is known about asbestiform and non-asbestiform elongate mineral particles (EMPs) and mesothelioma risks based on evidence from experimental and epidemiology studies. Dr. Case discussed case reports of mesothelioma over the last several decades. Dr. Taioli indicated that the epidemiology evidence concerning non-asbestiform EMPs is weak or lacking, and that progress would be limited unless mesothelioma registries are established. One exception discussed is that of taconite miners, who are exposed to grunerite. Drs. Mandel and Odo noted that studies of taconite miners in Minnesota have revealed an excess rate of mesothelioma, but the role of non-asbestiform EMPs in this excess incidence of mesothelioma is unclear. Dr. Becich discussed the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB), a virtual mesothelioma patient registry that includes mesothelioma patients' lifetime work histories, exposure histories, biospecimens, proteogenomic information, and imaging data that can be used in epidemiology research on mesothelioma. Dr. Bernstein indicated that there is a strong consensus that long, highly durable respirable asbestiform EMPs have the potential to cause mesothelioma, but there is continued debate concerning the biodurability required, and the dimensions (both length and diameter), the shape, and the dose associated with mesothelioma risk. Finally, Dr. Nel discussed how experimental studies of High Aspect Ratio Engineered Nanomaterials have clarified dimensional and durability features that impact disease risk, the impact of inflammation and oxidative stress on the epigenetic regulation of tumor suppressor genes, and the generation of immune suppressive effects in the mesothelioma tumor microenvironment. The session ended with a discussion of future research needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114578
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Asbestos
  • Cleavage fragments
  • Elongate mineral particle (EMP)
  • High aspect ratio engineered nanomaterials
  • Mesothelioma


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