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Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Oct;102 Suppl 5:145-50.

Significance of durability of mineral fibers for their toxicity and carcinogenic potency in the abdominal cavity of rats in comparison with the low sensitivity of inhalation studies.

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  • 1Medical Institute of Environmental Hygiene, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract

At the same time that carcinogenicity of very thin glass fibers after intrapleural and intraperitoneal (ip) administration was demonstrated (1,2) researchers found that gypsum fibers and HCI-leached chrysotile fibers were easily soluble in the peritoneal cavity. This led to the conclusion that the chemical composition of fibers was not responsible for the carcinogenesis but that the degree of carcinogenic potency of a fiber depended on the extent to which it retained its fibrous structure. A thin glass fiber with a low biodurability did not induce tumors after ip injection of a high dose, although the ip test had been criticized for being "overly sensitive." The ip model has been the most successful for determining carcinogenicity of inorganic fibers and establishing dose-response relationships; but to determine the possibilities and limitations of this test model, very high doses of nonfibrous silicon carbide and of a slightly durable glass fiber type were injected ip in Wistar rats. No obviously acute or chronic toxic effect was observed in 90 weeks, but there was a 40% incidence of serosal tumors in the group treated with glass fibers. A pilot study on the persistence of slag fibers in the omentum of rats after ip injection showed a half-time of about 1 year. It was calculated that an ip injection of 10(9) fibers would lead to a concentration of fiber numbers in the ash of the omentum in the same range as the concentration in the lung after 2 years of inhalation exposure. The long-term inhalation study with fibers in rats has been called the "gold standard" for risk characterization.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

PMID:
7882919
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1567282
Free PMC Article
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