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Toxicological Assessment of Zeolites
Authors: Thomas JA, Ballantyne B
Source: Journal of the American College of Toxicology, Vol. 11, No. 3, pages 259-273, 97 references, 1992

The biological and toxicological actions of molecular sieves, and the effects of natural occurring fibers and synthetic zeolites were reviewed and discussed. The actions on various organ systems and their in-vitro effects were contrasted and compared. Specific topics discussed included acute toxicity, primary irritancy, pulmonary effects in-vitro, carcinogeneses, genotoxicity, immunotoxicity, effect on growth and digestion, and epidemiologic studies in humans. Each variety of zeolite has its own general and specific toxicological profile. Fiber dimensions are significant in determining pulmonary fibrosis and other lung pathologies. The fiber dimension is a very important difference between the natural and the synthetic zeolites crystallography. No evidence existed which indicates that commercial synthetic zeolites can provoke significant pulmonary change since they are mainly nonfibrous. Fibrous natural zeolites can produce pulmonary lesions. The synthetic zeolites provide few nonpulmonary toxicologic changes. As nuisance dusts, the synthetic zeolites can irritate the eyes and nasal passages. They are generally nonirritating to the skin and fail to significantly provoke the immune system.

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