The IRON-ic truth about asbestos danger
News of the recall of Johnson&Johnson baby powder, after asbestos was found in the powder, shocked parents around the globe in late 2019. Yet another reason to avoid this horrible brand if you don't already.
But did you know?:
🗝 Asbestos is a special type of long-thin silica crystal. In tissue, these crystals are highly irritative and highly fibrogenic, causing damage and scarring to the mesothelia (the organ membranes/lining). 🗝 There are 3 types of asbestos used commercially - chrysotile, crocidolite, and amosite. 🗝 In a study done in 2012 it was found that the pathogenesis of chrysotile-induced mesothelial carcinogenesis was closely associated with iron overload. 🗝 Chrysotile caused cancer of the mesothelia in lab rats the quickest. 🗝 Adding nitrilotriacetic acid into the mix, which promotes the Fenton reaction (this reaction results in the creation of the most angry and destructive oxidizing species: hydroxyl radical) significantly sped up cancer formation. TAKE NOTE: In the presence of iron, ascorbic acid (the synthetic Vitamin C that is in your cough lozenges, breakfast juice & multivitamins etc) sets off this ferocious nasty Fenton Reaction. Not good news! Avoid that Synthetic C Peeps! 🗝 The study concluded "that chrysotile is a strong carcinogen when exposed to mesothelia, acting through the induction of local iron overload. Therefore, an intervention to remove local excess iron might be a strategy to prevent MM (cancer) after asbestos exposure." 🗝 Asbestos itself contains iron, and appear to also attract yet more iron... 🗝 In the tissue the fibers become coated with a protein-iron-calcium matrix, giving them a shish-kebab appearance under a microscope. These are called 'ferruginous bodies' because they are highlighted with an iron stain.
Moral of the story - get your iron<>copper mineral status checked to make sure you're not in a state of iron overload (hint: most Earthlings are unfortunately), as this study (and many more) shows - iron overload may predispose you to a crappy outcome when exposed to carcinogens.