Fluoro-edenite non-neoplastic diseases in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy): pleural plaques and/or pneumoconiosis?

Authors

Abstract

Background. A mesothelioma cluster in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy), drew attention to fluoro-
edenite, a fibre classified by International Agency for Research on Cancer as carcinogenic
to humans. Significant excesses in mortality and morbidity were observed for respiratory
diseases and a significant excess of pneumoconiosis hospitalizations was reported.
Objective. Aim of this study is to assess the characters of the lung damage in Biancavilla
residents hospitalized with pneumoconiosis or asbestosis diagnoses.
Methodology. Medical records, available radiographs and computed tomography scans
were collected. The obtained imaging was reviewed by a panel of three specialists and
focused on pleural and parenchymal abnormalities. Cases with an ILO-BIT or ICOERD
score equal or greater than 2 were considered positive for a pneumoconiosis-like damage,
cases with a score lower than 2 or insufficient quality of imaging were considered inconclusive. If no pneumoconiotic aspects were present the cases were classified as
negative.
Results. Out of 38 cases, diagnostic imaging for 25 cases were found. Ten cases out of 25
showed asbestosis-like features, nine subjects were considered negative. In six patients’
results were inconclusive.
Conclusions. Asbestosis-like features were substantiated in Biancavilla residents without
known occupational exposure to asbestos. Further studies to estimate population respiratory health are required. Experimental studies on the fibrogenic potential of fluoro-edenite are needed.

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Authors

Caterina Bruno - Department of Environment and Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy; retired

Rosario Di Stefano - Provincial Health Unit Catania, Sicily, Italy

Vincenzo Ricceri - Division of Radiology, Hospital Maria Santissima Addolorata - Biancavilla, Provincial Health Unit Cata-nia, Sicily, Italy

Mauro La Rosa - Division of Radiology, Hospital Maria Santissima Addolorata - Biancavilla, Provincial Health Unit Cata-nia, Sicily, Italy

Achille Cernigliaro - Department of Health Services and Epidemiological Observatory, Regional Health Authority, Sicily Re-gion, Palermo, Italy / Complex Operating Unit of Clinical Pathology - Department of Radiological Sciences and Services - Sant'Antonio Abate Hospital - Provincial Health Authority of Trapani, Italy

Paolo Ciranni - Department of Health Services and Epidemiological Observatory, Regional Health Authority, Sicily Re-gion, Palermo, Italy

Giuseppe Di Maria - Department of Internal Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Daniele Mandrioli - Ramazzini Institute, Bologna, Italy

Amerigo Zona

Pietro Comba - Department of Environment and Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy; retired

Salvatore Scondotto - Department of Health Services and Epidemiological Observatory, Regional Health Authority, Sicily Re-gion, Palermo, Italy; retired

How to Cite
Bruno, C., Di Stefano, R., Ricceri, V., La Rosa, M., Cernigliaro, A., Ciranni, P., … Scondotto, S. (2023). Fluoro-edenite non-neoplastic diseases in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy): pleural plaques and/or pneumoconiosis?. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 59(3), 187–193. Retrieved from https://annali.iss.it/index.php/anna/article/view/1551
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