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Metal fume fever: characterization of clinical and plasma IL-6 responses in controlled human exposures to zinc oxide fume at and below the Threshold Limit Value.
Fine JM; Gordon T; Chen LC; Kinney P; Falcone G; Beckett WS
J Occup Environ Med 1997 Aug; 39(8):722-726
The clinical effects of exposure to zinc-oxide (1314132) at or below the 5mg/m3 threshold limit value were investigated and an attempt was made to track any rise in circulating IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) Subjects included 13 healthy nonsmoking volunteers with a mean age of 30.8 years. Subjects were exposed to zinc-oxide fume at 2.5mg/m3 or 5mg/m3, or to air for 2 hours. At 6 to 12 hours after exposure, the mean maximum rise in oral temperature was 1.4+/- 0.3 degrees-F after 5mg/m3, 1.2+/-0.3 after 2.5mg/m3 and 0.6+/-0.5 degrees after air exposure. Plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) were significantly elevated after exposure to 5mg/m3 zinc-oxide. Mean IL-6 values at preexposure and at 3 and 6 hours after exposure were 1.9, 2.8, and 2.9, respectively, on the air day and 1.6, 4.4, and 6.4 on the 5mg/m3 zinc-oxide day. Zinc-oxide exposure did not significantly affect plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor. Total symptom scores peaked 9 hours after the 5mg/m3 zinc-oxide exposure. Myalgia, cough, and fatigue were the predominant symptoms reported. The authors conclude that inhalation of zinc-oxide for 2 hours at the current threshold limit value of 5mg/m3 produced fever and symptoms along with elevations in plasma IL-6 levels.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Metal-fume-fever; Respiratory-system-disorders; Zinc-compounds; Inhalation-studies; Humans; Toxic-effects
Jonathan M. Fine, MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Section, Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT 06856
Issue of Publication
Pulmonary System Disorders
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division