Subsequently to the observation of a localized excess of mortality from malignant pleural neoplasms in the town of Biancavilla (Sicily), previously unknown amphibolic fibres with fluoro-edenitic composition were detected as naturally occurring soil contaminants. Less then two
years after the initial report, ISS provided a set of public health recommendations that were complied by regional and local institutions. The recognition of Biancavilla as a National Priority Contaminated Site in 2002 opened the way to clean-up interventions. An up-dating of epidemiological studies, exposure assessment investigations and in vivo and in vitro mechanistic studies on fluoro-edenite fibres is provided in this issue. Scientific evidence can provide a sound foundation
to public health action and environmental reme- diation. Finally, it is now necessary to properly tune the response of the health system to
the community needs in terms of diagnostic procedures and medical treatment.