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 Jan 15;39(1):10-7. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910390104.


An environmental and epidemiological study has been carried out in Central Cappadocia, Turkey, aiming at investigating the relationship between exposure to naturally occurring erionite fibres and the reported high incidence of malignant mesotheliomas. Airborne fibre levels are generally low but show a higher proportion of erionite fibres in the villages affected by malignant disease than in a control village. The same pattern is confirmed by analysis of the fibre content in lung tissues of sheep from several villages, both affected and unaffected by malignant disease. The 3 villages with the highest proportion of erionite fibres have high rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma, malignant peritoneal mesothelioma and lung cancer. No case of malignancy for the same sites has been reported during the study period from the control village. The relationships between these findings and their consistency with the results from experimental studies indicate erionite fibres as a carcinogenic agent, although some aspects of the exposure are not fully clarified.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aluminum Silicates / adverse effects*
  • Aluminum Silicates / analysis
  • Animals
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / analysis
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / epidemiology
  • Mesothelioma / etiology*
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pleural Neoplasms / etiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Sheep
  • Turkey
  • Zeolites


  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Zeolites