A knowledge of the anatomy of the respiratory system, and an understanding of the behavior of gases and particles within the system, and of the reactions of the respiratory tissue to the gases and particles are necessary for those persons responsible for preventing respiratory injury in industry. The anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system are described briefly. The solubility of gases, and the size and dimensions of solid particles affect their behavior within the respiratory system. The factors governing the reaction of the lung are the nature of the agent, the dose, and the reactivity of the tissues. The manifestations of injury include increased airflow resistance, hypersecretion of mucus, paralysis of the mucocilliary escalator, mobilization of macrophages, cell injury, granulomatous inflammation, fibrosis development, and carcinogenesis. Substances having each of these effects, and the potentiating effects of mixtures are discussed.
The Industrial Environment - Its Evaluation and Control, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Chapter 33