Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra
versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been known since ancient times. It is widely used in industry due to its physical and chemical properties which make it highly suitable for this end. Asbestos is classified in two groups - serpentine and amphibole - depending on the curved or straight configuration of their fibres. Outstanding amongst its properties are its resistance to heat, wear, alkalis and acids, and its flexibility, amongst other characteristics, which make it a suitable material for use as insulation, in industrial textiles and in many other fields. The pathogenic risk of asbestos remaining for a long time in the pulmonary tissue has been known for many years; studies attribute it with alteration of the mucociliary activity of the host, macrophage activation and the freeing of inflammatory mediators as well as an increase in their oncogenic strength on association with tobacco and even some viruses.
Palabras clave : Asbestos; Properties; Pathogenesis.