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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2003 Sep;53(9):1088-97.

Does the Harvard/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ambient Particle Concentrator change the toxic potential of particles?

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Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Inhalation exposure to urban air particles is known to increase morbidity in humans and animals. Our group utilizes the Harvard/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ambient Particle Concentrator (HAPC) to generate concentrated aerosols of outdoor air particles for experimental exposures. We have reported increased pathologic responses to inhalation of concentrated urban air particles and identified silicon (as silicate) as an element associated with many of these responses. Using silicate-rich Mt. St. Helen's volcanic ash (MSHA), we exposed three groups of Sprague-Dawley rats by inhalation for 6 hr to filtered air, MSHA, or MSHA passed though the HAPC. Twenty-four hours following exposure, bronchoalveolar lavage was performed to assess total cell count, differential cell count, protein, lactate dehydrogenase, and n-beta-glucosaminidase levels. Peripheral blood was examined for packed cell volume, total protein, total white cells, and differential cell count. Morphologic studies localized particles in the lung and assessed pulmonary vasculature. No significant differences were observed among any of the groups in any parameter measured including morphometric analysis of pulmonary vasoconstriction. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray analysis identified particles as silicates typical of MSHA throughout the lung. These findings suggest that particles passing through the HAPC have no change in their toxic potential in an exposure setting where particle deposition in the lung has occurred.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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