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Part Fibre Toxicol. 2018 Feb 12;15(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12989-018-0246-4.

Concentration-dependent systemic response after inhalation of nano-sized zinc oxide particles in human volunteers.

Author information

1
Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789, Bochum, Germany. monse@ipa-dguv.de.
2
Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789, Bochum, Germany.
3
Gerinnungszentrum Rhein-Ruhr, Königstraße 13, 47051, Duisburg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Inhalation of high concentrations of zinc oxide particles (ZnO) may cause metal fume fever. In an earlier human inhalation study, no effects were observed after exposure to ZnO concentrations of 0.5 mg/m3. Further data from experimental studies with pure ZnO in the concentration range between 0.5 and 2.5 mg/m3 are not available. It was the aim of this experimental study to establish the concentration-response relationship of pure nano-sized ZnO particles.

METHODS:

Sixteen healthy subjects were exposed to filtered air and ZnO particles (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/m3) for 4 h on 4 different days, including 2 h of cycling with a low workload. The effects were assessed before, immediately after, and about 24 h after each exposure. Effect parameters were symptoms, body temperature, inflammatory markers and clotting factors in blood, and lung function.

RESULTS:

Concentration-dependent increases in symptoms, body temperature, acute phase proteins and neutrophils in blood were detected after ZnO inhalation. Significant effects were detected with ZnO concentrations of 1.0 mg/m3 or higher, with the most sensitive parameters being inflammatory markers in blood.

CONCLUSION:

A concentration-response relationship with nano-sized ZnO particles in a low concentration range was demonstrated. Systemic inflammatory effects of inhaled nano-sized ZnO particles were observed at concentrations well below the occpational exposure limit for ZnO in many countries. It is recommended to reassess the exposure limit for ZnO at workplaces.

KEYWORDS:

Concentration-response relationship; Inhalation study; Nanoparticles; Systemic effects; Zinc oxide

PMID:
29429408
PMCID:
PMC5808398
DOI:
10.1186/s12989-018-0246-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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