par Dumortier, Pascal ;Broucke, Ingrid;De Vuyst, Paul
Référence American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 164, 3, page (499-503)
Publication Publié, 2001-08
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Refractory ceramic fibers (RCF) are widely used to replace asbestos in applications requiring high heat resistance. Ferruginous bodies mimicking asbestos bodies (ABs) have been detected in the lungs of RCF production workers. This raises the question about their presence in other occupational groups and whether "typical ABs" still reflect past asbestos exposures in all settings. An AB counting by phase-contrast light microscopy and a screening test by analytical electron microscopy were systematically performed on all bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) submitted to our laboratory in 1992 through 1997 (n = 1,800). When RCF were detected in electron microscopy, the structures considered as "typical ABs" were marked under light microscopy and prepared for further chemical and structural analysis. Pseudo-ABs on RCF were detected in samples from nine subjects (0.5%). All of them had worked either as foundry workers, steel workers, or welders. In these subjects, alumino-silicate fibers compatible with RCF accounted for 42% of the core fibers analyzed, other nonasbestos fibers for 28%, and asbestos fibers for 30%. ABs thus remain a valid marker of asbestos retention but attention must be paid to a possible occurrence of pseudo-asbestos bodies on RCF and other nonasbestos fibers in end-users of refractory fibers.