Abstract

The aim of the present method is to reduce the dimensional variability of asbestos, elongated mineral particles, fibrous, and other asbestiform minerals for use in biological assays. Here, the pristine mineral sample is filtered through two nylon meshes of different sizes to obtain a narrower dimensional distribution following a power law. Furthermore, we show that anoxic preparation, autoclaving and storage of the mineral prior to addition into biological cultures did not affect the mineral’s chemical properties. This approach avoids the use of highly reactive chemicals modifying mineralogical characteristics and surface properties, which can affect to a major extent mineral toxicity as well as interactions between minerals and biological matter or biofluids. The method can be combined with additional selective approaches to further refine the dimensional range of the minerals. The advantages of this protocol over previous methods are:

● Exclusive use of distilled water and 2-propanol, thus eliminating chemicals that can modify bulk or surface properties of the studied minerals.

● Successful sterilization of the resulting asbestos fibers for use in biological assays without compromising mineralogical characteristics.

● Applicability of this method across various types of asbestos and, potentially, other hazardous minerals.