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Airborne particles of the California Central Valley alter the lungs of healthy adult rats.

Smith-KR; Kim-S; Recendez-JJ; Teague-SV; Menache-MG; Grubbs-DE; Sioutas-C; Pinkterton-KE
Environ Health Perspect 2003 Jun; 111(7):902-908
Epidemiologic studies have shown that airborne particulate matter (PM) with a mass median aerodynamic diameter < 10 microm (PM10) is associated with an increase in respiratory-related disease. However, there is a growing consensus that particles < 2.5 microm (PM2.5), including many in the ultrafine (< 0.1 microm) size range, may elicit greater adverse effects. PM is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic compounds; however, those components or properties responsible for biologic effects on the respiratory system have yet to be determined. During the fall and winter of 2000-2001, healthy adult Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed in six separate experiments to filtered air or combined fine (PM2.5) and ultrafine portions of ambient PM in Fresno, California, enhanced approximately 20-fold above outdoor levels. The intent of these studies was to determine if concentrated fine/ultrafine fractions of PM are cytotoxic and/or proinflammatory in the lungs of healthy adult rats. Exposures were for 4 hr/day for 3 consecutive days. The mean mass concentration of particles ranged from 190 to 847 microg/m3. PM was enriched primarily with ammonium nitrate, organic and elemental carbon, and metals. Viability of cells recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from rats exposed to concentrated PM was significantly decreased during 4 of 6 weeks, compared with rats exposed to filtered air (p< 0.05). Total numbers of BAL cells were increased during 1 week, and neutrophil numbers were increased during 2 weeks. These observations strongly suggest exposure to enhanced concentrations of ambient fine/ultrafine particles in Fresno is associated with mild, but significant, cellular effects in the lungs of healthy adult rats.
Airborne-particles; Laboratory-animals; Animals; Animal-studies; Epidemiology; Respiratory-system-disorders; Diseases; Particulates; Particle-aerodynamics; Organic-compounds; Biological-effects; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Lung-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Nanotechnology
K.R. Smith, Center for Health and the Environment, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616 USA
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Journal Article
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Cooperative Agreement
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Priority Area
Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
Performing Organization
University of California, Davis, California