Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Naturally occurring asbestos in Valmalenco (Central Alps, northern Italy); from quarries and mines to stream sediments


The Valmalenco area (central Alps, northern Italy) is an excellent case study for naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) because of the huge outcrops of serpentinites and widespread quarrying and mining activities. Extensive sampling of rocks, soils, stream sediments, and airborne asbestos has been in progress since 2004. The combined use of scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy has proven to be effective for the correct discrimination between asbestiform and non-asbestiform mineralogical varieties (but falling into the World Health Organization fiber definition), whereas phase contrast microscopy has not proven suitable because of the very small size of fibrils after strong mechanical fragmentation. The quantitative analysis of "massive" samples (rocks, soils, and sediments) requires accurate and representative sampling as well as specific counting and discrimination criteria to determine NOA. Over a decade of experience has allowed us to identify critical issues and adopt effective preventive measures.

ISSN: 1078-7275
EISSN: 1558-9161
Coden: ENGEA9
Serial Title: Environmental & Engineering Geoscience
Serial Volume: 26
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Naturally occurring asbestos in Valmalenco (Central Alps, northern Italy); from quarries and mines to stream sediments
Affiliation: University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Milan, Italy
Pages: 47-52
Published: 20191029
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Association of Engineering Geologists, College Station, TX, United States
Number of pages: 6
References: 13
Accession Number: 2019-093043
Categories: Economic geology, general, depositsEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N46°07'60" - N46°28'00", E09°30'00" - E10°11'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Torino, ITA, Italy
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Association of Engineering Geologists and the Geological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201949
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal