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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1997 Mar;143(1):37-46.

Acute lung injury induced by a commercial leather conditioner.

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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, USA.


Following a formulation change, a leather conditioner was involved in a 1992 nationwide outbreak of respiratory illness. We investigated the composition and toxicity of the conditioner produced before (previous product) and after (new product) the disease outbreak. The new product induced tachypnea, pulmonary edema, pulmonary hemorrhage, and sporadic deaths in exposed guinea pigs and rats. Ultrastructurally, these changes were associate with direct pulmonary cytotoxicity characterized by necrosis of alveolar type I cells and alveolar septal interstitial edema. Chemical analyses suggested major alterations in the fluorohydrocarbon constituents in the new formulation of the leather conditioner. While these alterations could not be specifically identified, they appeared to include changes from fluoralkanes to fluoroalkenes, fluorophenyl, and/or fluoroalcohol compounds. Changes in solvent composition were consistent with traces of 2-butoxyethanol and isomers of dipropylene glycol methyl ether, and additional C10-C12 alkanes. In this study, we demonstrated the toxicity of the new product in laboratory animals. Some of the altered constituents of the new product have been identified and are potential candidates for additional investigations to identify specific etiologic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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