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.
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