|Abstract: ||The aims of the work was to compare mineral components found in lung tissues of inhabitants
of the Katowice Conurbation with dust components of atmospheric pollution in this
region. Mineral components of dust reaching lungs can show characteristic features, depend
on sources of their emission. Thus they can be considered as emission indicators. In this project
the mineral indicators are called these components of mineral substance in lung tissue,
which phase and chemical composition together with other particular features can help in the
identification of their possible source.
Mineralogical investigations with the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission
electron microscopy (TEM), and chemical analyses (ICP) were carried out on 34 human
lung tissues coming from donors exposed to dust contaminants in the Katowice Conurbation.
Samples, from 13 women and 21 men without any cancer cells, were taken as the section material
from persons which in their work were not exposed to dust contaminants, and which
deceased as a result of accidents.
The carried out mineralogical research enabled to find several mineral components in
lung tissue. Biogenic carbonates were dominant, including calcite and Mg-calcite. Most of
other components were the same as those present in phases of the polluted Katowice Conurbation.
Among them were such minerals as: amorphous aluminosilicates with spherical particle
shapes, mullite, trydimite, iron oxides (magnetite, hematite, and wustite), other simple
oxides, iron sulphides, barite and REE phosphates. They were considered mineral indicators
pointing out to anthropogenic origin related to hard coal combustion and processing. Quartz,
micas, feldspars, amphiboles and pyroxenes were regarded as indicators of emission from natural
sources. The presence of lead and zinc sulphides is related to exploitation or processing
of zinc and lead ores. Particles of metallic iron and alloys were included to anthropogenic indicators
connected to metallurgical industry. Ferrihydrite and goethite are thought to be products
of reaction of lung fluids with mineral particles rich in iron. Calcium phosphate was
only rarely found in healthy lung tissues, thus this mineral component was included into biogenic
indicators of pathogenic mineralization.
In was found that the amount of mineral substances present in lung tissues increases
with age. It can be caused by the occurrence of autogenic mineralization related to physiological
processes and accumulation of pollution, mainly of anthropogenic origin, as well as increasing
pathogenic mineralization, i.e. so called latent mineralization caused by incorporation
of some metals into lung tissue. Chemical analyses of selected main elements (Ca, Na Fe, and P) indicated that their concentrations
are not related to sex but possibly to age. Among selected minor elements occurring
in lung tissue (Zn, Al, K, and Mg) the highest variability of concentrations was shown
by zinc and aluminum. It was found that the amount of zinc in lung tissue decreases with age
whereas alumina amount increases. It is believed that the age increase of aluminum contents
can indicate dissolution of aluminosilicates and accumulation of aluminum in lung tissues. It
suggests that aluminum forms latent mineralization. Analysis of selected trace elements (Pb,
Cd, Cu, Sr and Mn) shows that their concentrations are not related to sex. Presence of Pb and
Cd in lung tissues confirms toxic metal occurrence in the air of the Katowice Conurbation.
This work indicates the need to carry out investigations enabling identification of minerals
formed in a human organism, which can help in better understanding the influence of
environmental factors on human health. The development of these research methods give possibility
of close interdisciplinary cooperation of mineralogists, geochemists and physicians.|