Investigation of in-vivo and in-vitro persistence of mineral fibres and development of assessment criteria for the carcinogenic potential

Project No. FFFF 0116


completed 10/1996


TRGS 905 categorises man made mineral fibres (MMMF) of certain proportions and material composition as carcinogenic in category 2 or 3 in accordance with the dangerous chemicals regulation. Bio-degradability is a further categorisation criterion without, however, providing concrete indication of limit values for differentiation between categories, because the methods to determine bio-degradability are insufficiently standardised and there is no certain correlation between bio-degradability and carcinogenic effect. Goal: elaboration of a standard measuring procedure as well as evaluation of criteria concerning carcinogenic effects for the persistence of man made mineral fibres in the organism


Examination of 7 fibre materials (2 additional ones in BAuA-Project F1249); parallel investigations with identical fibre samples under inhalation, intratracheal instillation, intraperitoneal injection and in-vitro to determine in-vivo persistence, in-vitro solubility and carcinogenic potential; elaboration of framework conditions for standardised tests; validation of in-vitro method


Correlation between in-vivo decay time (rat lungs) and in-vitro solubility speed; intratracheal instillation as well as short-period inhalation put experimental limits to the evidence of the results. For important fibres (large production quantities, unavoidable exposure when used) both procedures should be applied and, where insufficient correlation exists, be supplemented by subchronic inhalation test with recovery period (EPA 1995). Toxicological and occupational medical assessment of mineral fibres requires a correlation between bio-persistent decay times and carcinogenic effect (further research).


Muhle, H. u.a.: Fasern-Tests zur Abschätzung der Biobeständigkeit und zum Verstaubungsverhalten. BIA-Report 2/98. Hrsg.: Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG), Sankt Augustin 1998

Last Update:

2 Aug 2000


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Fraunhofer Institut für Toxikologie u. Aerosolforschung (ITA), Hannover und für Silikatforschung (ISC), Würzburg
  • Medizinisches Institut für Umwelthygiene, Düsseldorf

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


Gefährdungsbeurteilung, krebserregende Stoffe, Toxikologie

Description, key words:

Indications regarding the application of methods to determine the bio-persistence of man made mineral fibres and evaluation of the results