Using Marine Bacteria to Detoxify Asbestos

Environmental Factor Philadelphia, PA

NIEHS grantees from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Department of Earth and Environmental Science recently discovered that bacteria from extreme marine environments have the potential to detoxify asbestos. Their study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, suggests that the marine microbes may be better candidates for asbestos bioremediation than previously tested fungi and soil bacteria. Pérez-Rodríguez teamed with Reto Gieré, Ph.D., who has a long history characterizing asbestos minerals. They thought that these extremophilic microbes might be good candidates for asbestos bioremediation because they use inorganic compounds and interact with a variety of minerals in their natural environments. For full text, click here.