Increased pulmonary toxicity of inhaled ultrafine particles: Due to lung overload alone?

G. Oberdörster, J. Ferin, S. Soderholm, R. Gelein, C. Cox, R. Baggs, P. E. Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Groups of rats were exposed 6 h per day, 5 days per week for 12 weeks as follows: (1) control (filtered air); (2) TiO2-F (∼250 nm particle size); (3) TiO2-D (∼20 nm particle size); and (4) SiO2 (cristobalite, 800 nm particle size). At the end of exposure, retained lung burdens were 6.62 and 5.22 mg for TiO2-F and TiO2-D, respectively, and 0.34 mg for SiO2. Inflammatory parameters in lung lavage fluid (cells, protein, enzymes) were highly increased in the SiO2and TiO2-D group and only moderately in the TiO2-F group. Long-term lung clearance of85 Sr test particles, instilled or inhaled at the end of the dust exposures, was significantly prolonged in the SiO2and TiO2-D groups by factors of 28 and 8 and only moderately by a factor of 2 in the TiO2-F group compared to control. Pulmonary retention of TiO2-D particles was likewise highly increased whereas TiO2-F retention was less prolonged despite a slightly higher initial lung dust burden. We conclude, that inhalation of ultrafine particles of nuisance dusts can lead to increased pulmonary toxicity and that TLVs should be revised to take this into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue numberinhaled_particles_VII
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased pulmonary toxicity of inhaled ultrafine particles: Due to lung overload alone?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this