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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2004 Feb;207(2):115-24.

Different toxic, fibrogenic and mutagenic effects of four commercial quartz flours in the rat lung.

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Squarix Biotechnology GmbH, Elbestr. 10, D-45768 Marl, Germany.


There is still intensive debate on the variability in the biological activities of different quartz species. Therefore we examined in a rat lung model the inflammatory, fibrogenic and genotoxic characteristics of four commercial quartz flours. The samples, two with probably low activity and two with probably high activity were selected from a panel of 16 samples on the basis of in vitro investigations. Rats were exposed by a single intratracheal injection of 0.6, 1.2 and 2.4 mg quartz samples per lung or with 1.2 mg standard quartz DQ12. After 90 days the inflammatory response was measured in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, as well as the content of 8-oxoguanine in the DNA of the lung cells. Additionally mutated p53 protein was determined. The four quartz samples revealed specific differences in all parameters investigated. In good agreement with the in vitro results the two samples expected as lowly active showed only weak inflammatory and no genotoxic reactions in the rat lungs. In contrast the two samples suspected as highly reactive induced a pronounced inflammatory response and for one of the samples genotoxic effects could be proven. The results raised here show a broad spectrum of biological activities dependent on the type of quartz from almost inert to genotoxic and highly inflammatory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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