Environmental Health Perspectives
With the use of the transmission electron microscope, asbestos fibers have been assessed in kidney cortex of four groups of rates previously exposed to intermediate-range feeding grade chrysotile asbestos. Newborn rates, from mothers gavaged with asbestos during pregnancy, were gavaged twice a week at the dose level of 50 mg/kg beginning at age day 7 until their natural death or sacrifice. The rates were divided into four groups by age: 0-200, 200-400, 400-600 and 600-800 days. Of the 20 rates comprising the four test groups, 17 were positive, average fiber recovery being 5.34 x 103/mg dry weight. Average fiber level in control tissues was 0.23 x 103/mg dry weight. Fiber recovery in tissues from control animals was shown to be significantly lower (p < 0.005) than that from test tissues. Test groups showed highly significant differences (p < 0.005) from each other in the fiber levels. Dose-response relationship was not significant (0.05 < p < 0.1). The length distribution and the alterations in morphology of the recovered fibers are described. This study is consistent with the passage of chrysotile asbestos across the gastrointestinal wall.
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