The Toxicology of Chrysotile-Containing brake Debris: Implications for Mesothelioma

Craig Poland, Rodger Duffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The global use of asbestos in various commercial products has led to a wide range and pervasive legacy of disease. One such use of chrysotile asbestos was
brake pads and was utilised commonly in automobiles and heavy vehicles. The result of incorporation of chrysotile into brake pads is associated with the
exposure of mechanics fitting and servicing vehicles to liberated chrysotile fibres. Despite the proven exposure, the relative risk of malignant mesothelioma (MM) in this occupational population is broadly seen as low. The toxicity of particulates, including fibres such as chrysotile, is driven by a combination of dose and physicochemical properties. As such, it is plausible that chrysotile released from brake pads may have undergone modification, thereby altering the pathogenicity profile. The impact of high sheer stress causing shortening of long fibres, heat modification, binding of resin matrix to the fibre surface on the relative toxicity of brake debris with regards to MM are considered. It is apparent that released chrysotile can undergo significant modification, reducing although to removing the long fibre dose although not all modifications may lead to
reduced toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical reviews in toxicology
Early online date15 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2019


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