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Man-made vitreous fibers (MMVFs), also called man-made mineral fibers, represent a group of manufactured fibers that includes rock wool, slag wool, glass wool, glass continuous filaments, glass microfibers, and refractory ceramic fibers (Baan and Grosse 2004; De Vuyst et al.
He had been working as a laminator of glass-wool fibers and coating materials for 7 years, without respiratory protection, suggesting excessive occupational exposures to MMVFs and coating materials.
Dissolution of MMVFs in the lung environment, well demonstrated in animal studies (Adamson et al.
(1995), only three studies address quantification and characterization of MMVFs by analytical electron microscopy in lung samples of exposed workers.
In our case, the contribution of analytical electron microscopy applied in lung biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of this pneumoconiosis associated with a complex occupational exposure, but not clearly due to MMVFs.
Twenty fibers had a length-to-diameter ratio of < 3; hence, the particulate fraction of MMVF 10a in the aerosol was 10%.
Displacement of MMVF 10a in the Langmuir-Wilhelmy balance.
A total of 335 MMVF 10a profiles, which are electron-dense and easy to recognize, were analyzed on micrographs of ultrathin sections (Table 1).
The microscopic analyses of inhaled and deposited MMVF 10a in hamster lungs described here show that in the conducting airways almost all fibers were submersed in the aqueous lining layer, whereas in the alveoli only about one-third of the fibers were completely covered by lining layer material.
The calculation of the forces that are exerted on cylindrical MMVF 10a after their deposition on a liquid surface is somewhat more difficult than that for forces exerted on microspheres, because of the complex wetting behavior.
Nevertheless, if the particulate fraction of MMVF 10a is cleared by the blood circulation, organs beyond the lungs should be carefully investigated after fiber exposure.
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