Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Chemistry and Biochemistry


Asbestos is a general term for a group of fibrous silicates. Diseases such as asbestosis, bronchogenic carcinoma, and mesothelioma have been linked to asbestos exposure (1,2). The 1 two classes of asbestos, serpentine and amphibole, are distinguished by differences in structure and chemical composition (3). The amphibole crocidolite contains 27% iron while the serpentine chrysotile contains only 2-3% iron. The higher iron content of crocidolite is proposed to be a contributing factor for a much higher incidence of cancer with crocidolite exposure compared with chrysotile exposure ( 4). Iron mobilized intracellularly from asbestos fibers may participate in the formation of reactive oxygen species that can cause DNA damage (5,6).

Included in

Chemistry Commons



Faculty Mentor

Ann R. Aust

Departmental Honors Advisor

Ann R. Aust