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Inhalation tolerance study for p-Aramid respirable fiber-shaped particulates (RFP) in rats

: Bellmann, B.; Creutzenberg, O.; Dasenbrock, C.; Ernst, H.; Pohlmann, G.; Muhle, H.


Toxicological Sciences 54 (2000), S.237-250
ISSN: 1096-6080
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
rat; lung; inhalation toxicology; Respirable fiber-shaped particulates

This study was designed to assess the lung clearance function in rats after subchronic exposure to p-aramid respirable fiber-shaped particulates (RFP). Male wistar rats were exposed 6 hrs/day, 5 days/week for 3 months to 50, 200, and 800 RFP/ml measured by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Recovery effects were followed up through 9 months postexposure. The retention of RFP (length > 5 µm) was about 25 * 10 (exp 6) RFPs per lung in the low dose group after 3 months of exposure. The corresponding values in the medium and high dose groups amounted to overproportionally higher values of 122 * 10 (exp 6) and 576 * 10 (exp 6) RFPs per lung, respectively. Adecrease in the length of the retained RFPs over the 9-month recovery period was observed, indicating a breakage of long fibrils. Alveolar clearance half-times measured by gamma tracers indicated a dust overloading of lungs for the high dose group at 0 and 3 months postexposure. Bronchoalveolar lavage parameters revealed that p-aramid RFPs induced pronounced inflammatory effects of the high and medium dose groups. Histopathologically, slight fibrotic and hyperplastic lesions were observed in the medium and high dose groups directly after the end of exposure. The findings at the 3-month postexposure interval resulted in a reduction of inflammatory changes in the medium and high dose groups compared to the sacrifices upon cessation of exposure. No histopathologic effects were detected in the low dose group. In the high dose group the maximum functionally tolerated dose was exeeded. The No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) of RFP was 50 RFP/ml as measured by SEM.