Acute exposure to acid fog: Influence of breathing pattern on effective dose

Stephen M. Bowes, Marcie Francis, Beth L. Laube, Robert Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concern about the possible adverse health effects of acid fog has been fed by two observations: air pollution disasters earlier in this century were typically associated with fog, and current samples of fog water can be strongly acid. To study the acute effects of acid fog on the lung, the authors generated a monodisperse 10 μM MMAD aerosol of H2SO4 with a pH of 2.0 and a nominal concentration of 500 μg/m3. They exposed seven healthy young men on alternate days to acid or control equiosmolar NaCl aerosol during 40 min of resting ventilation and 20 min of exercise; the latter was sufficiently intense to induce oronasal breathing. Exposure was by means of a head dome, a head-only exposure device that permitted continuous measurement (unfettered breathing) of VT, f, VE, and the onset and persistence of oronasal breathing. In this article the authors compare the relative importance of parameters contributing to the between-subject variability in estimated hydrogen ion dose to the lower airways (HLAW +), based on analysis of variance. Physiologic parameters accounted for 70% of the variability, of which 34% was due to differences in duration of oronasal breathing (tON) and 36% to differences in ventilation rate during oronasal breathing [formula omitted]; inhaled hydrogen ion concentration [H+], the environmental parameter, contributed only 30%. Minute ventilation at the time of transition from nasal to oronasal breathing varied significantly among subjects even if normalized to FVC, an index of lung size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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