A crash course: What you need to know about New Zealand’s toxic rock – erionite

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A crash course: What you need to know about New Zealand’s toxic rock – erionite

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David McBride

Rocks, rocks by the water. Photo by Andrea Carboni on Unsplash
Rocks from the Auckland region have been found to contain erionite, a toxic fibrous silicate mineral

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH

Occupational health expert David McBride discusses the risks associated with erionite, which has been described as one of the most toxic minerals on earth – and it’s right here in New Zealand

Key points, Erionite has been associated with health effects similar to those seen with exposure to asbestos, but potency for the development of mesothelioma appe
References

1. Brook MS, Black PM, Salmond J, et al. Erionite in Auckland bedrock and malignant mesothelioma: an emerging public and occupational health hazard? NZ Med J 2020;133(1518):73–78.

2. Baris I, Simonato L, Artvinli M, et al. Epidemiological and environmental evidence of the health effects of exposure to erionite fibres: a four-year study in the Cappadocian region of Turkey. Int J Cancer 1987;39(1):10– 17.

3. Korchevskiy A, Rasmuson JO, Rasmuson EJ. Empirical model of mesothelioma potency factors for different mineral fibers based on their chemical composition and dimensionality. Inhal Toxicol 2019;31(5):180– 91.

4. Salmond L, Brook M. What lies beneath: is this the new asbestos? September 2020. auckland.ac.nz