The 2017 EMU (European Mineralogical Union) school will be held in Modena (Italy) in June 2017 with the title

Mineral fibres: crystal chemistry, chemical-physical properties, biological interaction and toxicity.

The related EMU Notes Volume 18 (2017), edited by Alessandro F. Gualtieri will be also released at the time of the school. The school/volume is part of  the EMU Notes in Mineralogy series, which presents in a condensed form an up-to-date, excellent overview of a single topic of interest to the broader geoscience community and related school (see http://eurominunion.org/?page_id=131).

The school will cover different multidisciplinary aspects related to the study of natural fibres and is thus aimed at students with a background in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Material Science, Medicine, Physics who strive for working in the field of mineral fibre and asbestos and want to acquire both a strong background in this specific area of environmental protection and a multidisciplinary open vision of the asbestos related problems.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Crystal structure and crystallography, occurrence of mineral fibres, and natural occurring asbestos
  • experimental methods for the investigation of mineral fibres: optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, iron spectroscopy and synchrotron radiation based techniques
  • Surface and bio-chemical properties of mineral fibres
  • Illustration of asbestos related diseases and bio-chemical mechanism inducing toxicity effects in the human body
  • In vitro and in vivo tests to assess cyto/genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of mineral fibre
  • Dissolution and biodurability of mineral fibres
  • Epidemiological studies of asbestos related diseases
  • Genetic factors, mutations and toxicity of mineral fibres

During the school, there will be afternoon practical sessions to let the students face with the experimental methods for the study of mineral fibres and two field trips. At the end of each day, there will be time for and open discussion so that the students may clear doubts, share ideas and get inspiration from the distinguished lecturers. The last day will also be devoted to the discussion of a general model to predict the toxicity of mineral fibres, and what future for mineral fibres in the actual global scenario.
This school will be a unique opportunity! Distinguished lectures who are undiscussed leaders in their research fields, coming from different countries worldwide, have accepted to teach in the school and to share their outstanding scientific and life experience with the students and colleagues.