Asbestosis: false-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing two macrophages impaled on an asbestos needle. Asbestosis is a lung disease (one of the pneumoconioses) caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres. Normally, foreign particles in the lungs are engulfed (phagocytosed) by the macrophages (mobile scavenger cells). Asbestos needles, however, are virtually indestructible and puncture the macrophages, destroying them and releasing their contents into the lung tissue. Asbestosis is linked with the development of mesotheliomas, cancers of the pleural membranes that surround the lungs. Magn: x2,000 at 6x7cm, x1,000 at 35mm size.
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