Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 539–547 | Cite as

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

  • A. Temel
  • M. N. Gündoğdu


Cappadocia is essentially covered by nine rhyolitic ignimbrite units, being the products of a multi-phase volcanism of Upper Miocene-Pliocene age. Around Ürgüp and the Kizilirmak River, these ignimbrites constitute a volcanic-sedimentary succession together with lacustrine sediments, called the Ürgüp formation. In the zeolite occurrences of Cappadocia that were found in the lacustrine parts of pyroclastics outcropping around the Tuzköy, Sarihidir, Karain, Çökek, 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 Tuzköy, 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, Cemilköy, Gördeles and Kizilkaya ignimbrites do not constitute any health risk for the inhabitants or for visitors.


Zeolite Lake Water Occupational Exposure Clinoptilolite Malignant Mesothelioma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ataman, G. (1978) Les tufs zeolitises de Cappadoce et leur liaison probable avec certain types de cancer du poumon et de Mesothelioma pleural. C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 287, série D: 207–210Google Scholar
  2. Ataman, G. (1980) Mise en evidence du role d'erionite (zeolite) dans le Mesothelioma pulmonaire. C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 291, série D: 167–169Google Scholar
  3. Ataman, G., Gündogdu, M.N. (1984) Fibrous zeolites (erionite) and cancer of the lung in the village of Sarihidir. In:Muir, C.S., Wagner, G. (eds). IARC Scientific Publications 62, Lyon. Oxford University Press, New York, USA, pp. 268Google Scholar
  4. Baris, E. and Baris, Y.I. (1993) Environmental exposure to fibrous zeolite in Turkey: an appraisal of the epidemiological and environmental evidence, vol. 8 of the Sourcebook on Asbestos diseases. In:Peters, G.A., Peters, B.J. (eds.). Asbestos risks and medical advances. Butterworth, USA, pp. 53–71Google Scholar
  5. Baris, Y.I., Sahin, A.A., Özesmi, M., Kerse, I., Özen, E., Kolaçan, B., Altinörs, M., Göktepeli, A. (1978) An outbreak of pleural mesothelioma and chronic fibrosing in the village of Karain/Ürgüp in Anatolia. Thorax 330: 423–432Google Scholar
  6. Baris, I., Simonata, L., Artvinli, M, Pooley, F., Saracci, R., Skidmore, J. and Wagner, C. (1987) Epidemiological and environmental evidence of the health effects of exposure to erionite fibres: a four-year study in the Cappadocian region of Turkey. Int. J. Cancer 39: 10–17Google Scholar
  7. Bish, D.L., Chipera, S.J. (1991) Detection of trace amounts of erionite using X-ray powder diffraction: erionite in tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and Central Turkey. Clay Clay Mineral. 29:437–445Google Scholar
  8. Bish, D.L., Guthrie, G.D. (1993) Mineralogy of clay and zeolite dusts (exclusive of 1∶1 layer silicate). In: Guthrie, G.D., Mossman, B.T. (eds.), Health effect of mineral dusts, Rev. Mineralogy 28:139–184Google Scholar
  9. Broxton, D.E., Bish, D.L., Warren, R.G. (1987) Distribution and chemistry of diagenetc minerals at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Clays Clay Miner. 35: 89–110Google Scholar
  10. Coffin, D.L., Peters, S.E., Palekar, L.D., Cook, P.M., Creason, J.P. (1989) A study on the biological activity of erionite in relation to its chemical and structural characteristics:In:Wehner, A.P. (ed.), Proc. Biological Interaction of Inhaled Mineral Fibres and Cigarette Smoke, Battelle Press, Columbus, Ohio, pp. 347–354Google Scholar
  11. Garrels, R.M., Christ, C.L. (1965) Solutions, minerals and equilibria. Harper and Row, New York, 435pGoogle Scholar
  12. Gündogdu, M.N. (1982) Geological, mineralogical and geochemical investigation of the Bigadiç Neogene volcano-sedimentary basin (Neojen yaşli Bigadi sedimanter baseninin jeolojik, mineralojik ve jeokimyasal incelenmesi). PhD Thesis, Hacettepe University (unpublished)Google Scholar
  13. Gündogdu, M.N., Yalçin, H., Temel, A., Clauer, N. (1996) Geological, mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of zeolite deposits associated with borates in Bigadiç, Emet and Kirka Neogene lacustrine basins (Western Turkey), (this issue)Google Scholar
  14. Hay, R.L. (1978) Geological occurrence of zeolites. In:L.B. Sand, F.A. Mumpton (eds.) Natural zeolites: occurrences, properties and uses. Pergamon Press, New York, pp. 135–145Google Scholar
  15. Le Pennec, J.-L., Bourdier, J.-L., Froger, J.-L., Temel, A., Camus, G. and Gourgaud, A. (1994a) Neogene ignimbrites of the Nevsehir plateau (central Turkey). Stratigraphy, distribution and source constraints. JVGR 63: 59–87Google Scholar
  16. Le Pennec, J.-L., Temel, A., Druitt, T., Froger, J.L., Aydar, E., Bourdier, J.-L., Camus, G., Gündogdu, M.N. (1994b) The Neogene to Quarternary ignimbritic field of Cappadocia. IAV-CEI-94 Spec. Pub. 3, 29pGoogle Scholar
  17. Maltoni, C., Minardi, F., Morisi, L. (1982) Pleural mesotheliomas in Sprague Dawley rats by erionite: first experimental evidence. Environ. Res. 29: 238–244Google Scholar
  18. Mumpton, F.A. (1979) A reconnaissance study of the association of zeolites with mesothelioma occurrences in Central Turkey. US Geol. Surv. Open-File Rep. 79–954, 55pGoogle Scholar
  19. Özesmi, M., Patiroglu, T.E., Hillerdal, G., Özesmi, C. (1985) Peritoneal mesothelioma and malignant lymphoma in mice caused by fibrous zeolite. Brit. J. Ind. Med. 42: 746–749Google Scholar
  20. Poole, A., Brown, R.C., Turver, C.J., Skidmore, J.W., Griffiths, D.M. (1983) In vitro genotoxic activities of fibrous erionite. Brit. J. Cancer 47: 746–749Google Scholar
  21. Sebestian, P., Gaudichet, A. Bignon, J., Baris, Y.I. (1984) Zeolite bodies in human lungs from Turkey. Lab. Invest. 44: 420–425Google Scholar
  22. Sheppard, R.A. (1991) Zeolitic diagenesis of tuffs in the Miocene Chalk Hills formation, Western Snake River Plain, Idaho. US Geol. Surv. Bull. 1963, 27pGoogle Scholar
  23. Surdam, R.C., and Sheppard, R.A. (1978) Zeolites in saline, alkaline-lake deposits. In:Sand, L.B., Mumpton, F.A., (eds.) Natural zeolite occurrence, properties, use: Elmsford, N.Y., Pergamon Press, New York, pp. 145–174Google Scholar
  24. Suzuki, Y. (1982) Carcinogenic and fibrogenic effects of zeolites. Preliminary observations. Environ. Res. 27: 433–445Google Scholar
  25. Temel, A. (1992) Petrological and geochemical characteristics of Cappadocian explosive volcanism (Kapadokya eksplozif volkanizmasinin petrolojik ve jeokimyasal özellikleri). PhD Thesis, Hacettepe University, (unpublished)Google Scholar
  26. Temel, A., Gündogdu, M.N., Gourgaud, A. and Le Pennec, J.-L. (1994) Ignimbrites of Cappadocia: petrology and geochemistry. Abstracts of IAVCEI-94, AnkaraGoogle Scholar
  27. Wagner, J.C., Skidmore, J.W., Hill, R.J., Griffiths, D.M. (1985) Erionite exposure and mesotheliomas in rats. Brit. J. Cancer 51:727–730Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Temel
    • 1
  • M. N. Gündoğdu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringHacettepe UniversityBeytepe-AnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations