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Effect of metal-containing environmental and occupational particulates on lung defense mechanisms.
Antonini-JM; Roberts-JR; Taylor-MD; Clarke-RW
Effects of Air Contaminants on the Respiratory Tract - Interpretations from Molecules to Meta Analysis, Proceedings of the 9th International Inhalation Symposium, Hannover, Germany, June 11-14, 2003. Heinrich-U, ed., Stuttgart, Germany: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2004 Jan; :283-299
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that inhalation of polluted air containing increased levels of metal-containing particulates may exacerbate preexisting health conditions and augment pulmonary infection. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of metal-containing particulates found in environmental and occupational settings on lung defense responses. Animal infectivity models have been developed as a means to determine the mechanisms by which inhaled toxicants may affect lung defenses against infection. Due to the prevalence of different metal-containing particulates in the environment and workplace, numerous animal studies have evaluated the effects of agents, such as fly ash, concentrated ambient air particulates, and welding fumes, on lung defense mechanisms. The alveolar macrophage is the primary lung cell responsible for non-specific innate pulmonary host defenses. Toxicological evidence indicates that metals associated with different occupational and environmental particulates may alter macrophage function and increase the susceptibility to lung infection. Changes in macrophage phagocytosis, bactericidal activity, and the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have been observed. 'n addition, the secretion of cytokines by macrophages, which are important in immune cell responses, has been shown to be affected by metal-containing particulates. Evidence suggests that the soluble metal fraction of specific environmental particulates is responsible for the alterations observed in lung immune responses. Studies are ongoing in an attempt to assess the role that individual metals (e. g. Cr, Fe, Ni, V, and Mn) may play in suppressing lung defense against infection. With the use of animal infectivity models, it may be possible to determine the mechanisms by which metal-containing particulates may suppress lung defenses in order to develop a better understanding of how to prevent adverse health effects and protect susceptible populations at risk.
Metals; Particulates; Epidemiology; Inhalants; Inhalation-studies; Airborne-particles; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Models; Laboratory-animals; Animals; Animal-studies; Toxins; Toxic-effects; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure; Welders-lung; Welding; Fumes; Fumigants
James M. Antonini, Ph. D., Health Effects Laboratory Division, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road (M/S 2015), Morgantown, WV 26505
7440-47-3; 7439-89-6; 7440-02-0; 7440-62-2; 7439-96-5
Book or book chapter; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Effects of Air Contaminants on the Respiratory Tract - Interpretations from Molecules to Meta Analysis, Proceedings of the 9th International Inhalation Symposium, Hannover, Germany, June 11-14, 2003
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division