Owing to their possible carcinogenic effect, asbestos and other silica derivatives have been identified as priority substances for risk reduction and prevention of pollution. Neutralisation procedures have thus become a topical research subject in many European and American countries. In the present study, silica derivatives (asbestos-containing and asbestos substitutes like slag wool, rock wool, cement asbestos) were fully impregnated with an epoxy resin according to the procedure used for the in situ impregnation with viscous polymeric media, which penetrate and cement the fibres in place and reduce the risk of their dispersion in air. Untreated and treated samples were used to investigate their in vitro interaction with a human continuous epithelial cell line (NCTC 2544 keratinocytes) and test the resin's efficiency in passivating the surface activity of the fibrous particulate. SEM and morpho-quantitative data evidenced that impregnation with the epoxy resin modifies the mineral fibres' bioactivity (reduction of cell adhesion and decreased spread/round cell ratio) and demonstrated the value of in vitro cell testing after passivation as a risk-assessment procedure. These tests could be used for the rapid determination of the level of passivation of new synthetic mineral fibrous materials subjected to resin impregnation.
Exploring the damage limitation possibilities of mineral fibres for future integrated solutions: An in vitro study / Gabbanelli, F.; Mattioli-Belmonte, M.; Giantomassi, F.; Rimondini, L.; Viticchi, C.; Biagini, G.; Torricelli, P.; Gualtieri, A. F.; Lesci, I. G.; Giardino, R.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTIFICIAL ORGANS. - ISSN 0391-3988. - 26:1(2003), pp. 73-79. [10.1177/039139880302600111]