Published literature on the toxic effects of nitrogen oxides is reviewed. The findings of human studies are evaluated in relation to experimental and accidental exposures, effects on blood chemistry, occupational exposures, ambient atmospheric exposures, exposures in confined spaces, and exposures to derivatives of nitrogen oxides. Experimental data from animal tests are also summarized, including effects on pulmonary morphology, pulmonary biochemistry, pulmonary function, systemic absorption, tolerance, effects of exposure schedule, interactions with other chemicals, extrapulmonary biochemistry, immunology, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and teratogenicity. Animal exposure test results with nitric-oxide (10102439) are addressed specifically. Engineering controls used to reduce occupational exposures are described, along with developments in personal sampling devices and conditions in underground mining operations. Sampling and analytical methods for nitrogen-dioxide and nitric-acid are reviewed, and detailed critiques are provided. The author notes that information is still lacking in the areas of nitrogen oxide dose relationships, synergistic interactions, and factors that may prevent lung damage caused by nitrogen oxides.
Division of Criteria Documentation and Standards Development, NIOSH, Rockville, Maryland, NTIS PB-83-234-716