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Chronic inhalation study findings as a basis for proposing a new occupational dust exposure limit

: Morrow, P.E.; Mermelstein, R.; Muhle, H.

Journal of the American College of Toxicology 10 (1991), Nr.2, S.279-290
ISSN: 0730-0913
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
dust; dust exposure limit; dust overloading; inhalation study; lung; occupational exposure; threshold limit value

This article briefly reviews the history of the current threshold limit value and the permissible exposure limit for occupational dusts derived originally from the Nuisance Dust standard. Chronic inhalation studies of appropriate design are described in terms of their key findings and potential impact on the dust standards, especially modern, experimental studies which have been affected by the problem of dust overloading. Many studies show that dust overloading produces a significant and progressive retardation of macrophage-mediated dust removal leading to various dysfunctional and pathologic changes which confound the interpretation of chronic toxicity study findings. Assuming that there may be a human counterpart to this condition at the same milligram dust per gram lung concentration, extrapolation modeling can be used to show that the current occupational dust limits do not protect worker lungs from this eventuality. Several bases for substantially reducing the current occupation al standards are discussed.