Asbestiform Amphibole Minerals: Detection and Measurement of High Concentrations in Municipal Water Supplies

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Science  06 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4154, pp. 853-855
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4154.853


Ashestiform amphibole minerals, which have been demonstrated to be associated with human health problems, have been detected in substantial quantities in municipal water supplies taken from western Lake Superior Water. The total concentrationl of amphibole minerals in the Duluth, Minnesota, water supply, as measured by x-ray diffraction for daily samples of suspended solids averages 0.19 milligram per liter with large fluctuations due to seasonal and climatological effects on lake circulation. Electron microscopic examination of these water samples confirms the presence of asbestiform amphibole fibers. A conservatiue estimate of the fiber count for 1973 Duluth water supply samples is (1 to 30) x 106 amphibole fibers identifiable by electron diffraction per liter of water with a mass concentration of 1 to 30 micrograms per liter.