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Biopersistences Of Man-made Vitreous Fibers And Crocidolite Fibers In Rat Lungs Following Short-term Exposures.

R. Musselman, W. Miiller, Walter Eastes, J. Hadley, O. Kamstrup, P. Thévenaz, T. Hesterberg
Published 1994 · Biology, Medicine

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Biopersistence of commercial man-made vitreous fibers (MMVF) and crocidolite were studied in Fischer 344 rats. MMVF used were size-selected to be rat-respirable, and rats were exposed nose-only 6 h/day for 5 days to gravimetric concentrations (30 mg/m3) of two fiber glass compositions--a rockwool, and a slagwool--or to 10 mg/m3 of long-fibered crocidolite, or to filtered air. Animals were sacrificed at 1 hr, 1, 5, 31, 90, 180, 270, 365, and 545 days after exposure stopped. Fibers were recovered from digested lung tissue to determine changes in concentrations (fibers/mg dry lung) and fiber retentions (expressed as percent of day 1 retention [PR]) for selected dimension categories. One-day average concentrations of lung-retained MMVF and crocidolite fibers, of diameter > or = 0.5 micron or > 20 microns in length, were nearly equal, permitting direct comparisons between MMVF and crocidolite. At 270 days average PR for MMVF > or = 0.5 micron in diameter were from 3 to 6 +/- 2% and 27 +/- 9% for crocidolite. For fibers > 20 microns, PR were 1 to 4 +/- 4% for MMVF and 37 +/- 20% for crocidolite. At 545 days, MMVF > 20 microns in length were at background level while concentration of crocidolite fibers > 20 microns in length remained at 2000 +/- 400 f/mg DL (dry lung), or 38 +/- 9% of day-1 retention. These results suggest strongly that MMVF dissolved or fractured in vivo whereas crocidolite fibers did not change.
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