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Quantitative assessment of elemental carbon in the lungs of never smokers, cigarette smokers, and coal miners.
Saxena RK; McClure ME; Hays MD; Green FHY; McPhee LJ; Vallyathan V; Gilmour MI
J Toxicol Environ Health, A 2011 May; 74(11):706-715
Inhalation exposure to particulates such as cigarette smoke and coal dust is known to contribute to the development of chronic lung disease. The purpose of this study was to estimate the amount of elemental carbon (EC) deposits from autopsied lung samples from cigarette smokers, miners, and control subjects and explore the relationship between EC level, exposure history, and the extent of chronic lung disease. The samples comprised three subgroups representing never smokers (8), chronic cigarette smokers (26), and coal miners (6). Following the dissolution of lung tissue, the extracted EC residue was quantified using a thermal-optical transmission (TOT) carbon analyzer. Mean EC levels in the lungs of the control group were 56.68 +/- 24.86 (SD) µg/g dry lung weight. Respective mean EC values in lung samples from the smokers and coal miners were 449.56 +/- 320.3 µg/g and 6678.2 +/- 6162 µg/g. These values were significantly higher than those obtained from the never-smoker group. EC levels in the lung and pack-years of cigarette smoking correlated significantly, as did EC levels and the severity of small airway disease. This study provides one of the first quantitative assessments of EC in human lungs from populations at high relative risk for the development of chronic lung disease.
Respiratory-system-disorders; Inhalation-studies; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Smoking; Coal-dust; Exposure-assessment; Autopsies; Quantitative-analysis; Lung; Lung-cells; Lung-tissue; Miners; Coal-miners; Humans; Lung-disease; Chronic-exposure
M. Ian Gilmour, PhD, Cardiopulmonary and Immunotoxicology Branch, Environmental Public Health Division, MD: B143-04, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
Issue of Publication
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division