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Methods: Ten goats from areas with asbestos outcrops and two from other areas were slaughtered. Fibre content of lung and parietal pleural samples was determined by analytical transmission electron microscopy.
Results: Both chrysotile and tremolite fibres were detected. In the exposed goats, the geometric mean concentrations of asbestos fibres longer than 1 µm were 0.27 x 106 fibres/g dry lung tissue and 1.8 x 106 fibres/g dry pleural tissue. Asbestos fibres were not detected in the lungs of the two control goats. Chrysotile fibres shorter than 5 µm were predominant in the parietal pleura. Tremolite fibres accounted for 78% and 86% of the fibres longer than 5 µm in lung and parietal pleural samples, respectively.
Conclusions: Environmental exposure in northeast Corsica results in detectable chrysotile and tremolite fibre loads in the lung and parietal pleura of adult goats. Tremolite fibres of dimensions with a high carcinogenic potency are detected in the parietal pleura.