EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Searching for fibrous erionite in air and dust samples across an urban Southern Hemisphere airshed 

Nick` Talbot1, Kim Dirks2, Perry Davy3, Hamesh Patel4, Wendy Fan1, Martin Brook1, and Jennifer Salmond1
Nick` Talbot et al.
  • 1School of Environment, Faculty of Science, The University of Auckland (
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland
  • 3Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Wellington
  • 4Mote Ltd, 40 George Street, Mount Eden, Auckland

Erionite is a fibrous zeolite found in the rock beneath parts of Auckland, New Zealand. As a known carcinogen that can be easily inhaled. it has been linked to the development of mesothelioma. It has a high degree of carcinogenicity due to the specific physical dimensions of the fibres, with certain sizes able to easily deposit deep in the lung tissue once inhaled. This project seeks to understand the extent to which erionite, once exposed, propagates in the ambient air in the form of dust and airborne fibres. The research is made challenging by the lack of standard methodological approaches to detect and quantify such fibres in airborne samples. Initial monitoring has been targeted on areas that have the combined attributes of rapid urban development (and thus excavation) and a confirmed presence of erionite in the rock strata beneath. The key sampling periods will be during the New Zealand summertime when warm temperatures and drier conditions prevail, increasing the potential for dust and fibre generation and buoyancy. The research findings from this project aim to develop a standard method for investigating erionite fibres in ambient air, including recommendations for the use and application of suitable screening methods, instrumentation and field site choice and instrument network density for given scenarios.

How to cite: Talbot, N., Dirks, K., Davy, P., Patel, H., Fan, W., Brook, M., and Salmond, J.: Searching for fibrous erionite in air and dust samples across an urban Southern Hemisphere airshed , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3401,, 2022.