Project at a Glance

Title: Fate and distribution of inhaled nitrogen dioxide in the non-human primate.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Goldstein, Elliott

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: ARB-1116

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution


The intra and extra pulmonary distribution of inspired nitrogen dioxide was studied by exposing Rhesus Monkeys to air mixtures containing 0.3 to 0.9 ppm nitrogen-13 (half period = 10 min), nitrogen dioxide (13N02). The 13N02 was synthesized by 16O(p,a)13N nuclear reaction. Pulmonary and blood concentrations of 13N02 were continuously detected by external monitoring of the annihilation radiation consequent to positron emissions (511 KeV) from disintegrating 13N atoms. Control studies were performed in an identical manner with xenon-125 (125 Xe).

According to the results that were obtained approximately fifty percent of the inspired nitrogen dioxide was removed by the primate during normal respiration. The gas distributed itself throughout the lungs with slightly higher concentrations occurring in the central pulmonary regions than in the more peripheral areas. Once absorbed by the lungs, nitrogen dioxide or a chemical derivative remained for prolonged periods following cessation of exposure. The blood concentration of nitrogen dioxide or a chemical derivative increased in parallel with that for the lungs. These data indicate that the air pollutant, nitrogen dioxide, interacts extensively with pulmonary tissues and that the pollutant itself or chemically related products accumulate within the lungs and blood.

This report was submitted in fulfillment of Air Resources Board Contract 1116 by The Regents of the University of California under the partial sponsorship of the California Air Resources Board. Work was completed as of 30 August 1974.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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