Man-made mineral fibers and the respiratory tract

Arch Bronconeumol. 2012 Dec;48(12):460-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arbres.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Jul 2.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Man-made mineral fibers are produced using inorganic materials and are widely used as thermal and acoustic insulation. These basically include continuous fiberglass filaments, glass wool (fiberglass insulation), stone wool, slag wool and refractory ceramic fibers. Likewise, in the last two decades nanoscale fibers have also been developed, among these being carbon nanotubes with their high electrical conductivity, mechanical resistance and thermal stability. Both man-made mineral fibers and carbon nanotubes have properties that make them inhalable and potentially harmful, which have led to studies to assess their pathogenicity. The aim of this review is to analyze the knowledge that currently exists about the ability of these fibers to produce respiratory diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Manufactured Materials / toxicity*
  • Nanofibers / toxicity
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / chemically induced*