Asthma: Wood Smoke Effects on Respiratory Tract

Effects of Subchronic Exposure to Wood Smoke on the Respiratory Tract of Rats

Respiratory Tract Inflammation and Mucous Cell Hyperplasia from Repeated Exposure to Wood Smoke
Principal Investigator: Johannes Tesfaigzi
Co-Investigators: Edward B. Barr, Carole A.Conn, Fletcher F.Hahn

Wood smoke is a complex, particle-containing mixture that is associated with a number of respiratory illnesses in humans. It is also an important seasonal environmental air contaminant in several locations in the U.S. There is a very small toxicological database on subchronic, repeated exposures to wood smoke, and less on chronic toxicity. This study will evaluate the inhalation toxicity of smoke from a wood stove in rats exposed for 90 days. The wood and stove were selected to simulate exposures of a specific New Mexico Native American population in which a high incidence of childhood asthma may be associated with wood fuel use. The exposure levels are based on measurements in homes (highest level 2000 ~g/m3). The exposure atmosphere will be characterized in detail. Dr. Glen Cass, California Institute of Technology, will assist with detailed chemical analyses of particulate material. Biological endpoints will include respiratory function, airway and lung inflammation, mucous hyperplasia, and immune responses. This study serves as a pilot project to explore wood smoke exposure methodology and selection of biological responses for planning future Center research involving wood smoke.

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