In an earlier report, Platek et al. (1985) presented the results of an 18-month inhalation exposure of rats and monkeys to short chrysotile asbestos. The mean chamber exposure level was 1.0 mg/m3with an average of 0.79 fibers/ml > 5 m in length. Gross and histopathological examination of exposed and control rats indicated no treatment-related lesions. Asbestos bodies adjacent to the terminal bronchioles, but no fibrosis, were found in lung biopsy tissue taken from the exposed monkeys at 10 months post-exposure. Fifteen monkeys (9 exposed and 6 controls) from this study were maintained for 11.5 years following exposure. Lung fiber burdens were determined by transmission electron microscopy. The mean lung burden (+/- standard deviation) for 59 samples from exposed monkeys was 63 +/- 30× 10(6) fibers/g dry lung (range, 18-139 × 10(6)). The geometric mean fiber length was 3.5 microm with 35% of the fibers being > 5 microm in length. These data indicate some chrysotile fibers are durable in vivo for a significant period of time. Lungs were examined grossly and microscopically. No lesions attributable to the inhalation exposure were noted. Asbestos bodies were seen in the lungs of treated monkeys, primarily in the interstitium near bronchioles or small pulmonary blood vessels (which also may have been near to bronchioles just out of the plane of section).
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