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Hum Exp Toxicol. 1999 Jun;18(6):400-9.

Acute airway effects of formaldehyde and ozone in BALB/c mice.

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  • 1National Institute of Occupational Health Denmark, Copenhagen.


1. Concentration and time-effect relationships of formaldehyde and ozone on the airways were investigated in BALB/c mice. The effects were obtained by continuous monitoring of the respiratory rate, tidal volume, expiratory flow rate, time of inspiration, time of expiration, and respiratory patterns. 2. With concentrations up to 4 p.p.m., formaldehyde showed mainly sensory irritation effects of the upper airways that decrease the respiratory rate from a trigeminal reflex. The no-effect level (NOEL) was about 0.3 p.p.m. This value is close to the human NOEL, which is about 0.08 p.p.m. 3. Ozone caused rapid, shallow breathing in BALB/c mice. Later on, the respiratory rate decreased due to another vagal response that indicated an incipient lung oedema. The NOEL in mice was about 1 p.p.m. during 30 min of ozone exposure. No major effect occurs in resting humans at about 0.4 p.p.m. 4. Thus, the upper airway irritant, formaldehyde, and the deep lung irritant, ozone, showed the same types of respiratory effects in humans and in BALB/c mice. Also, the sensitivity was nearly identical. Continuous monitoring of respiratory effects in BALB/c mice, therefore, may be a valuable method for the study of effects of other environmental pollutants, which, however, should be confirmed in further studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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