Study links erionite in road gravel to associated pleural changes

Erionite in Road Gravel Associated With Interstitial and Pleural Changes—An Occupational Hazard in Western United States was published in the August 2011 edition of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. The article provides the results of a study to determine the rate of chest radiographic abnormalities among residents of North Dakota potentially exposed to road gravel containing the fibrous mineral erionite. The study found that interstitial, pleural, or both changes typically associated with asbestos exposure were observed in seven (21 per cent) individuals. The primary exposure pathway for six of these was from gravel pits, road maintenance, or both. Three participants (8.8%) demonstrated bilateral localized pleural changes with calcification; two of these also had accompanying interstitial changes. According to the study's authors, these results indicate that occupational exposure to erionite contained within road gravel represents a potential health hazard and that precautionary measures should be taken to limit occupational exposures. 

Source : Erionite in road gravel associated with interstitial and pleural changes : an occupational hazard in western United States
Ryan, PH ; Dihle, M; Griffin, S; Partridge, C; Hilbert, T J.; Taylor, R; Adjei, S; Lockey, J E .  Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, August 2011, Vol 53, no 8, p 892–898.

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