Elongate Mineral Particles: Integrating Terminology and CharacterizationBoard on Earth Sciences and Resources
Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St. NW Washington DC 20001
Registration is open for a workshop on May 15-16, 2017, organized under the auspices of the National Academies' Committee on Earth Resources, to address terminology and characterization of elongate mineral particles. The workshop is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety.
Research on the potential health effects of asbestos includes examination of the relationship between exposures to mineralogical mixtures that may contain asbestos and other mineral particles, and the specific physical and chemical characteristics of these particles that may lead to negative health impacts. Asbestos fibers are included in a class of particles referred to as "elongate mineral particles" (EMPs) which encompass a broad group of respirable mineral particles of certain aspect ratios. Advancing research and communication about EMP properties and their potential health effects is challenging for a number of reasons including the continued use of inconsistent nomenclature and inadequate characterization of EMPs. The regulatory, legal, and industrial nomenclature for EMPs is not fully synchronized across these sectors or within the research community. To begin addressing some of the challenges to advancing research on EMPs, NIOSH is sponsoring a workshop organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that will discuss EMP nomenclature and characterization challenges, and will explore potential solutions to those issues. The workshop will examine these questions in relation to mineral samples from bulk, soil, air, water, and biological media:
-- What information about EMPs can be obtained? What are the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches?
-- What information is most important (and why) to characterize for health outcomes?
-- For these studies, what terms should be used when describing the characteristics of EMP-containing samples and their EMP contents?
Featuring presentations and panel discussions, this workshop will bring together experts in mineralogy and petrology, environmental geochemistry, inhalation toxicology, and environmental and occupational health. Register today!