The effects of intermittent high asbestos exposure (peak dose levels) on the lungs of rats

J M Davis, S.T Beckett, R E Bolton, Ken Donaldson

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Four groups of rats were treated by inhalation with the UICC preparations of amosite or chrysotile in order to explore the effects of intermittent high dust concentrations (peak dosing). For each of the 2 asbestos types one group of rats was treated for 5 days each week, 7 h a day, for 1 year. Two other groups were treated with amosite or chrysotile at 5 times the previous dose for 1 day each week for 1 year. Results showed that the lung dust levels of both chrysotile or amosite in the lungs of rats after the 12-month inhalation period were similar regardless of whether "peak" or "even" dosing had been used. During the following 6 months, asbestos was cleared from the "peak" chrysotile group more slowly than the "even" chrysotile group but clearance from the "peak" amosite group was faster than that found after "even" dosing with amosite. Levels of early peribronchial fibrosis were generally lower for the "peak" dosing groups than for "even" dosing although levels of interstitial fibrosis were slightly higher following "peak" dosing. The incidence of pulmonary neoplasms did not differ between the "peak"-dosing and "even"-dosing experiments. These findings therefore give no indication that short periods of high dust exposure in an asbestos factory would result in a significantly greater hazard than would be indicated by the raised overall dust counts for the day in question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-80
Number of pages9
JournalBritish journal of experimental pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1980


  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • LUNG
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Neoplasms
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • RATS
  • Time Factors


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