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Zeolite occurrences and the erionite-mesothelioma relationship in Cappadocia, central Anatolia, Turkey

Zeolite occurrences and the erionite-mesothelioma relationship in Cappadocia, central Anatolia, Turkey

Mineralium Deposita 31(6): 539-547

Cappadocia is essentially covered by nine rhyolitic ignimbrite units, being the products of a multi-phase volcanism of Upper Miocene-Pliocene age. Around Urgup and the Kizilirmak River, these ignimbrites constitute a volcanic-sedimentary succession together with lacustrine sediments, called the Urgup formation. In the zeolite occurrences of Cappadocia that were found in the lacustrine parts of pyroclastics outcropping around the Tuzkoy, Sarihidir, Karain, Cokek, Ibrahim Pasa and Karadag areas, clinoptilolite is the most common mineral and is associated with chabazite, erionite and phillipsite in some areas. A gain of alkaline-earths from the lake water, which is compensated by a loss of alkalis from the glass, took place during the formation of the different zeolite assemblages, which were probably controlled by the composition of the parent glasses. The distribution of erionite confirms its relation with mesothelioma cases in Tuzkoy, Sarihidir and Karain villages that are located outside tourist areas. The high incidence of malignant mesothelioma in Karain may be explained by uncontrolled occupational exposure to erionite. The “fairy chimneys”, “canyons” and “underground cities”, which are situated in the unaltered or slightly altered parts of the Kavak, Zelve, Cemilkoy, Gordeles and Kizilkaya ignimbrites do not constitute any health risk for the inhabitants or for visitors.

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Accession: 020628809

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DOI: 10.1007/bf00196134

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