In-Vitro Analysis of the Respiratory Toxicities of Fossil Fuel Combustion Ashes
AuthorOkeson, Carl D.
Committee ChairCuello, Joel
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEpidemiological studies have linked exposure to elevated levels of airborne particulate matter with increased incidences of several types of respiratory disease, hospital admissions and morbidity. Millions of tons of airborne particulate matter are generated and released into the atmosphere each year. However, particulate matter resulting from the combustion of fuel oil and coal are of particular concern, because they are generally composed of small particles that can easily penetrate deep into the lungs, and can contain significant concentrations of toxic transition metals, such as zinc, iron and vanadium. Pulmonary toxicity (i.e. damage caused to lung tissues) of particulate matter is currently evaluated via time-consuming in-vivo testing, or via in-vitro testing. Compared to in-vivo testing, in-vitro testing offers significant advantages in terms of time savings and sample throughput. Unfortunately, the number of in-vitro testing methods are currently very limited, and do not allow a thorough investigation of the mechanisms of particulate matter toxicity. In light of these issues, the goals of the study described here were three-fold: *To adapt several in-vitro toxicity assays currently used in other applications to use in measuring particulate matter toxicity on lung cell layers; *To use these adapted assays to quantify the toxicity of numerous types of oil and coal ashes with varying particle sizes and transition metal concentrations, and; *To use the same assays to quantify the toxicities of several transition metals found in coal and oil ashes to better understand their relative contributions to overall particulate matter toxicity. Three colorimetric in-vitro assays were chosen for adaptation, and proved effective in measuring adverse cellular response to particulate matter exposure. Particle size was shown to have a large effect on the overall cytotoxicity of particulate matter; fine (less than 2.5 μm aerodynamic diameter) particles proved substantially more toxic than coarse (larger than 2.5 μm aerodynamic diameter) particles. Dose-response experiments measuring the toxic effects of the transition metals zinc, vanadium and iron revealed that zinc was the most toxic; a concentration of 0.6 mM caused a 50% drop in cellular metabolism, compared to 3 mM and 4 mM for vanadium and iron respectively.
Degree ProgramAgricultural & Biosystems Engineering