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New study reports microfiber glass not carcinogenic.

An inhalation study of manmade vitreous fibers (MMVFs) was recently completed at the Research and Consulting Company (RCC), Geneva, Switzerland. The preliminary final results report that the two year study "does not provide evidence of significant adverse health effects following inhalation of glass fiber." Two consulting independent pathologists supported the study's conclusions in their reports. The research for this study was sponsored by TIMA, Association of Man-Made Mineral Fiber Producers.

In the study, rats were exposed to size-selected fine fibers that were rat respirable. Animals were exposed for two years to three dose levels each. The report concluded, "No lung fibrosis was observed in the fibrous glass exposed animals. The only exposure related finding in the study was a dose-dependent increase in mild cellularity in the lungs that did not appear to progress after six month of exposure. These cellular changes are thought to be reversible and are similar to the effects observed after inhalation of an inert dust. There were no mesotheliomas observed in the study and there was no biological or statistically significant increase in the lung tumor incidence in the fibrous glass-exposed groups when compared to the negative control group." The data concurs with the results of eight previous inhalation studies.

Copies of this report were sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as part of an effort to convince IARC to reclassify microfiber glass products. At present, respirable fibrous glass is classified as a "possible carcinogen" following 1987 research by LARC in which glass fibers were surgically implanted directly into body cavities, with cancerous tumors as the result. However, this research bypassed the normal body defense mechanisms.

Now, the weight of Scientific evidence of the RCC study and several other inhalation studies is being applied to attempt to change the IARC classification from "possible carcinogen" to "non-carcinogen."
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Title Annotation:study sponsored by Association of Man-Made Mineral Fiber Producers and completed by Research and Consulting Co. in Geneva, Switzerland
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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