Prevalence and Distribution of Asbestos Lung Residue in a Spanish Urban Population.

María Isabel Velasco-García, Raquel Recuero, María Jesús Cruz, Rafael Panades, Gabriel Martí, Jaume Ferrer

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    Introduction: The purpose of the present study is to analyse the prevalence and distribution of asbestos lung residue in the Barcelona urban population. Material and methods: Lung autopsy samples were obtained from 35 individuals who had lived in Barcelona. The close family were interviewed in order to rule out asbestos exposure. Samples were obtained from three areas of the right lung during the autopsy: upper lobe apex, lower lobe apex, and lower lobe base. The samples were treated to remove organic material. The inorganic residue was analysed using a light microscope. The results were expressed as asbestos bodies (AB) per gram of dry tissue. Levels greater than 1000. AB/g of dry tissue were considered as potentially causing disease. Results: AB were detected in 29(83%) of the subjects, of which 86% had levels less than 300. AB/g. Only one individual (3%) had values greater than 1000. AB/g dry tissue. The asbestos residue was higher in the lower lung lobe in 17 individuals (48%) than in the rest, although no significant differences were seen as regards AB residue in the three lung areas studied. Conclusions: The results of this study show that the urban population of Barcelona have asbestos levels in the lung that vary between 0 and 300. AB/g dry tissue. No differences in the asbestos residues were detected in the lung areas studied in this population. © 2009 SEPAR.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)176-181
    JournalArchivos de Bronconeumologia
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


    • Asbestos
    • Light microscope
    • Lung
    • Urban population


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