Inhalation Toxicology. 12. Comparison of Toxicity Rankings of Six Polymers by Lethality and by Incapacitation in Rats
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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Polymeric aircraft cabin materials have the potential to produce toxic gases in fires. Lethality LC50 in animal models is a standard index to rank polymers on the basis of their combustion product toxicity. However, the use of times-to-incapacitation t sub i s may be more realistic for predicting relative escape times from a fire environment. Therefore, LC50s and t sub i s for six pure polymers of different chemical classes were determined and compared. The polymers were polyamide I, polystyrene II, Nylon 66 III, polysulfone IV, polyethylene V and chlorinated polyethylene VI. In the study, male Sprague-Dawley rats 150-250 g, 12 animals per fuel loading, were exposed to the pyrolysis products from selected weights of each polymer for 30 min in a 265-L combustion exposure system, and LC50s were determined following a 14-day observation period.