The study by Gounant et al1 in a recent issue of CHEST (January 2011) raised important questions regarding the long-term safety of endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) needles, which require further study. It would be interesting to note the proportion of aspirates in the Gounant et al1 study in which obvious extracellular black particles were noted on cytology, as this is not our experience. Is mineral analysis of all samples advocated in the absence of any noted cytologic extracellular black particles? Having audited the use of the Vizishot EBUS-TBNA needle (Olympus Ltd; Tokyo, Japan) for the last 97 patients in our institution, there have been no reports of extracellular black particles on the aspirates, although electron microscopic analysis was not performed; therefore, metal particle deposition cannot entirely be excluded. True anthracosis was noted in only three cases (3.2%). Sampling technique differences may also be relevant, as mentioned. Our aspirates were put in liquid-based cytology medium after two to four passes per node, with rinsing of the EBUS-TBNA needle between passes.