Toxic elements of the environment adversely affect tissues, structures, and functions of the respiratory system. Many of these changes are reflected in cells and other elements of pulmonary secretions. Natural defense mechanisms of the respiratory tract are impaired, rendered less effective, and eventually invalidated by toxic inhalants. Tissue changes in response to these toxic inhalants and irritants, especially of the, epithelium can be studied and evaluated cytologically with detection and identification of the various degrees of atypia. These cytologic alterations appear to be valid indications of the carcinogenic potentialities of environmental toxins. In three occupational groups increased frequency of these changes appear to parallel the presence of known or suspected carcinogenic environmental substances. Their cytologic identification may thus help to indicate those individuals or groups for whom preventive or other measures are most needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine