Superfund Research Program
Inhalation Toxicology Core
Project Leader: Peter S. Thorne
Grant Number: P42ES013661
Funding Period: 2006 - 2015
Project Summary (2006-2010)
Inhalation exposure to the more volatile PCBs in urban areas, near the Great Lakes, in areas where dredging is occurring, and at landfills and remediation sites has the potential to cause neurological, reproductive, and immunological toxicity in animals and humans. This Program is investigating the toxicological responses to atmospheric PCBs. The primary goal of the Inhalation Toxicology Core is to serve the other research support cores and the projects with state-of-the-art animal facilities and rigorously controlled inhalation exposures to realistic mixtures of airborne PCB congeners. Core investigators are taking the following approaches: 1) generating controlled PCB atmospheres in exposure chambers and collecting airborne PCBs resulting from vaporization of common industrial PCB mixtures to facilitate the creation of a model exposure mixture; 2) performing acute, subacute and subchronic inhalation exposures to laboratory animals to defined mixtures of atmospheric PCBs and to individual congeners; 3) providing a rodent vivarium for experimental animals used for the ISBRP and executing a quality assurance program to monitor their health and welfare; 4) performing necropsies on exposed, control and sentinel rodents and distribute tissues to project investigators in the ISBRP.
The Inhalation Toxicology Core was created within the existing Inhalation Toxicology Facility (ITF) of the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center which consists of 6,000 ft2 of contiguous laboratories and offices. The ITF is nationally recognized for innovative animal models and exposure delivery systems. A full array of inhalation toxicology, aerosol science, and bioassay services are rendered. The Inhalation Toxicology Core is well equipped for generating and quantifying PCB vapors or aerosols; for performing nose-only inhalation exposures of rats in acute, subacute or subchronic protocols; and for determining the degree of exposure and response. The development of innovative exposure delivery systems for PCB mixtures representative of atmospheric congeners is an essential concurrent activity.