Session – Mineral-hazards: The Environmental and Human Health Problem Represented by Raw and Man-processed Mineral Phases with Special Attention to Asbestos Minerals

The occurrence of elements or minerals such as asbestos phases can make exposure to the soils and rocks that contain them hazardous. Due to natural causes (drainage, leaching) or anthropic factors (mining activity or activities related to landscape modification), such phases or elements may be disseminated in the surrounding environment, resulting in contamination of soil, water, air media. This process may take place directly in the site of natural occurrence or in the sites where such minerals are processed at industrial scale. This session welcomes contributions in the topic of identification, characterization, bio-chemistry and assessment of toxicity (both in vitro and in vivo) of raw and man-processed mineral phases with special attention to asbestos minerals, mineral phases composing the airborne particulate, which represent an environmental and human health problem.


Session convenor

Professor Alessandro Gualtieri (Italy)
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

A.F Gualtieri is a Full Professor of Mineralogy at the Chemical and Earth Sciences Department, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy). Since 1995 he has been involved in the study of mineral fibers, structure and thermal transformations of asbestos minerals. In 2010-2015 he was the scientific coordinator of an Italian granted project on mineral fibers (PRIN 2010-2011 “Interaction between minerals and biosphere: consequences for environment and human health”), aimed at investigating the crystal-chemistry and bio-toxicity of mineral fibers of social and economic importance.

Author of 269 papers (HIscopus (May 2017) = 31). Last paper published on the topic of mineral fibres: A.F. Gualtieri, N. Bursi Gandolfi, S. Pollastri, K. Pollok, F. Langenhorst (2016) Where is iron in erionite? A multidisciplinary study on fibrous erionite-Na from Jersey (Nevada, USA). Scientific Reports 6.

Recently, he’s been: Chair of the session 4 EM6 “Inorganic fibres, biosphere, and risk assessment”. Boardroom 4, September 09, 2014. 21st General Meeting of IMA South Africa 2014, 1-5/09/2014 Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa; Chair of the session S26 Mineral-Hazards. The environmental and human health problem represented by raw and man-processed mineral phases. Emc2 2nd European Mineralogical Conference. Rimini (Italy), September, 15, 2016.



  • Mark Hendrickx
  • Elena Belluso
  • Philip Hibbs