Exposure to natural occurrences of asbestos (NOA) and other potentially hazardous elongated mineral particles (EMPs) may pose a risk to human health and the environment. Weathering forces and anthropic activities may alter the cohesion of NOA-bearing outcrops and disperse EMPs in air, water, and soil. The current paradigm for fibre toxicity indicates that morphology and crystal chemistry are key parameters in determining the toxicological properties of a mineral. This work aims to assess and discuss the impact of sub-tropical supergene alteration and weathering on the morphology and the chemical composition of antigorite, a non-regulated serpentine that shares chemical composition with asbestos chrysotile. Antigorite naturally occurring in lateritic Ni ores of New Caledonia exhibits a unique asbestos-like habit at the microscopic scale. Standardized mechanical stress was performed on antigorites, selected to represent different cohesion states. The specimens produced a relevant amount of respirable fibres, between 32 and 42% (WHO counting criteria). PCA on chemical data and ternary diagrams show that all antigorites exhibit a similar Si content (from 2.05 to 2.09 a.f.u.) but were mainly differentiated by Mg and Ni content, ranging from 2.66 to 2.80 and 0.00 to 0.09 a.f.u., respectively. Caledonian antigorite Si content is higher than Si in non-lateritic samples. This suggests that a main alteration process occurred after the obduction of the ultramafic protolith. The supergene alteration determined the Ni enrichment of lateritic deposits and is likely the main cause of the mineral alteration of antigorite under sub-tropical environments. Further, weathering processes prompt the disaggregation of altered antigorite causing the generation and dispersion of respirable, potentially hazardous, antigorite fibres in the environment

Morphological and chemical properties of fibrous antigorite from lateritic deposit of New Caledonia in view of hazard assessment / Petriglieri, J. R.; Laporte- Magoni, C.; Salvioli-Mariani, E.; Ferrando, S.; Tomatis, M.; Fubini, B.; Turci, F.. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 1879-1026. - 777(2021). [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146185]

Morphological and chemical properties of fibrous antigorite from lateritic deposit of New Caledonia in view of hazard assessment

Salvioli-Mariani E.;
2021

Abstract

Exposure to natural occurrences of asbestos (NOA) and other potentially hazardous elongated mineral particles (EMPs) may pose a risk to human health and the environment. Weathering forces and anthropic activities may alter the cohesion of NOA-bearing outcrops and disperse EMPs in air, water, and soil. The current paradigm for fibre toxicity indicates that morphology and crystal chemistry are key parameters in determining the toxicological properties of a mineral. This work aims to assess and discuss the impact of sub-tropical supergene alteration and weathering on the morphology and the chemical composition of antigorite, a non-regulated serpentine that shares chemical composition with asbestos chrysotile. Antigorite naturally occurring in lateritic Ni ores of New Caledonia exhibits a unique asbestos-like habit at the microscopic scale. Standardized mechanical stress was performed on antigorites, selected to represent different cohesion states. The specimens produced a relevant amount of respirable fibres, between 32 and 42% (WHO counting criteria). PCA on chemical data and ternary diagrams show that all antigorites exhibit a similar Si content (from 2.05 to 2.09 a.f.u.) but were mainly differentiated by Mg and Ni content, ranging from 2.66 to 2.80 and 0.00 to 0.09 a.f.u., respectively. Caledonian antigorite Si content is higher than Si in non-lateritic samples. This suggests that a main alteration process occurred after the obduction of the ultramafic protolith. The supergene alteration determined the Ni enrichment of lateritic deposits and is likely the main cause of the mineral alteration of antigorite under sub-tropical environments. Further, weathering processes prompt the disaggregation of altered antigorite causing the generation and dispersion of respirable, potentially hazardous, antigorite fibres in the environment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2889259
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