Inhalation Toxicology. VII. Times To Incapacitation and Death for Rats Exposed Continuously to Atmospheric Acrolein Vapor
Technical rept. Oct 1982-Jul 1983
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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Acrolein, an organic aldehyde CH2CH-CHO, is extremely irritating to the respiratory passages at very low concentrations. It is known to be present in the smoke from certain materials used in aircraft cabin interiors and could contribute, therefore, to an individuals failure to escape from a burning aircraft. In order to assess acroleins ability to produce physical incapacitation in a mammal, laboratory rats were exposed continuously to measured atmospheric concentrations of acrolein vapor until they expired. The exposure time required to produce lethality was measured, as was the time at which physical incapacitation occurred. Incapacitation was defined operationally as loss of the ability to walk in a motor-driven wheel, which was enclosed in the exposure chamber. Dose-response curves were generated by equating these two endpoints, time-to-incapacitation and time-to-depth, to the atmospheric acrolein concentration via statistically derived regression equations. Experimental results suggest that the acrolein dose that will produce physical incapacitation could be 10 to 100 times greater than has been predicted in the past. The possible relationship between the effective toxic doses of acrolein for rats, and those required for humans, is discussed.