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Arch Toxicol. 1988;62(5):381-6.

Acute inhalation toxicity of eugenol in rats.

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Department of Inhalation Toxicology, Huntingdon Research Centre Limited, United Kingdom.


The acute toxicity of inhaled eugenol was assessed by exposure of three groups of five male and five female rats to a submicron aerosol of eugenol for 4 h followed by a 14-day observation period. A fourth group, also of five male and five female rats and exposed to air only under similar conditions, served as a control group for comparison. The three concentrations of eugenol to which the different groups were exposed were 2.58, 1.37 and 0.77 mg/l. The mass median aerodynamic diameters and geometric standard deviations of the aerosols were, respectively, 0.82 micron (sigma g 2.26), 0.88 micron (sigma g 2.05) and 0.9 micron (sigma g 1.87). Clinical signs observed during exposure consisted principally of moderately increased salivation and restlessness (indicative of irritation) and abnormal breathing patterns. The signs were graded, being less marked in animals exposed to the lower concentrations of eugenol. All three groups, exposed to high, medium and low levels of eugenol, lost weight overnight following exposure. Associated with the weight loss were marked reductions in food and water intake. The responses appeared to be largely independent of the concentration of eugenol inhaled, although there was some evidence of a graded effect on water intake. There was rapid recovery, with food and water consumption data comparable with control values throughout most of the remainder of the 14-day observation period. Also, by the end of the observation period, group mean body weights were comparable. Upon sacrifice and macroscopic examination of the animals, abnormalities were detected in the lungs only of a few animals: 3/10 control, 2/10 eugenol 2.58 mg/l, and 2/10 eugenol 0.77 mg/l.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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