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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Jan;149(1):98-105.

Respiratory responses to repeated prolonged exposure to 0.12 ppm ozone.

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Clinical Research Branch, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711.


Repeated exposure to high concentrations of ozone results first in augmentation (typically on the second day) and then attenuation of pulmonary response in humans. To determine the effects of repeated prolonged low-concentration ozone exposure, we exposed 17 healthy nonsmoking male subjects to 0.12 ppm ozone for 6.6 h on 5 consecutive days. Subjects were also exposed once to filtered air. Volunteers exercised at a ventilation of approximately 39 L/min for 50 min of each hour during the exposure. Spirometry, plethysmography, and symptom responses were obtained before, during, and after each exposure. Nasal lavage and aerosol bolus dispersion were obtained before and after exposure. Spirometry decreased and symptoms increased on the first day. Responses were less on the second day compared with those on the first day, and they were absent compared with control values on the subsequent 3 days of ozone exposure. Percent change in FEV1 after ozone exposure compared with that after air exposure averaged -12.79, -8.73, -2.54, -0.6, +0.18% for Days 1 to 5 of ozone exposure, respectively. FEV1 responses ranged from a zero to 34% decrease on Days 1 and 2. After each exposure, we determined the ratio of SRaw after inhaling a fixed dose of methacholine to SRaw after inhaling saline aerosol, as an index of airway responsiveness. Airway responsiveness was significantly increased after each ozone exposure. The mean ratios were 2.22, 3.67, 4.55, 3.99, 3.24, and 3.74 for filtered air and ozone Days 1 to 5, respectively. Symptoms of cough and pain on deep inspiration increased significantly on ozone Day 1 only.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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