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An experimental human model of metal fume fever.
Blanc P; Wong H; Bernstein MS; Boushey HA
Ann Intern Med 1991 Jun; 114(11):930-936
A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that zinc-oxide (1314132) inhalation caused metal fume fever by stimulating an inflammatory response in the lungs, resulting in the release of cytokines and flu like symptoms. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1 were the cytokines suggested. Volunteer welders were provided with welding challenges in a 512 cubic foot exposure chamber where ventilation, temperature, and humidity were controlled. Subjects welded on galvanized steel for 15 to 30 minutes. Only eye and skin protection were provided. Exposures over the 15 to 30 minute periods were intended to exceed the OSHA standard of 10mg/m3. Personal exposures were measured with sampling devices positioned near the breathing zone. Exposure levels were determined and the subjects recorded their temperatures after welding and when symptoms caused discomfort. Lung volumes, airflow, diffusing capacity of carbon-monoxide, and airway reactivity at baseline and either 6 or 12 hours after welding were measured. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed 8 or 22 hours after welding. Fluid assays were conducted to determine total and differentiated cell counts and supernatant concentrations of the cytokines. Only minimal changes in pulmonary function and airway reactivity were found; however, polymorphonuclear leukocyte count increased with exposure with a mean proportion of 9% in the 8 hour lavage group and 37% in the 22 hour group. Neither TNF nor interleukin-1 was detected to significant degrees in the lavage supernatants.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Metal-fume-fever; Exposure-chambers; Pulmonary-function; Metal-oxides; Inhalation-studies; Humans
Cardiovascular Research Inst University of California PO Box 0924 San Francisco, CA 94143-0924
Issue of Publication
Annals of Internal Medicine
University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division