Experimental Investigation
of the Pulmonary Toxicity of
Polyvinyl Chloride Particles

By Haiyan Xu
December 2003
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 90-5867-350-2
156 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$72.50 Paper Original


This is a Ph.D. dissertation. Historically, occupational interstitial lung disease was common in workers who had inhaled mineral dusts such as silica, asbestos, and coal. With improved industrial hygiene and reduced mining and use of these agents, heavy exposure to these dusts has declined overall, except in developing countries including China. Many other particles, including welding fumes, cobalt, beryllium, diesel exhaust soot, agricultural dusts (such as grain, flour, and wood dust), and biological organic dusts (such as bacteria, fungi, and spores), etc, may be inhaled in the workplace and have been associated with more or less severe lung disorders.

The purpose of the present project was to obtain understanding of the pulmonary toxicity of PVC particles, so as to contribute scientific data, obtained from experimental investigation, to the occupational hazard assessment. This goal was achieved by a tiered approach consisting in 1) determining the cellular toxicity and inflammatory potential of various PVC particles and their additives in appropriate in vitro cellular systems; 2) determining, at the cellular level, the difference in cytotoxicity and inflammatory potential between original PVC particles, which contain up to 1% of additives as residues from the industrial process, and the same particles with additives removed; 3) administering representative PVC particles by intratracheal instillation to experimental animals, which is a simple, but scientifically acceptable in vivo bioassay, to determine the relative pulmonary toxicity of particulates. The results of these approaches are presented and discussed in the present thesis.

Respiratory Medicine
Acta Biomedica Lovaniensia, No. 303

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