Document Detail

Experimental exposure to methyl tertiary-butyl ether. II. Acute effects in humans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9473536     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) is widely used in gasoline as an oxygenate and octane enhancer. Acute effects, such as headache, nausea, and nasal and ocular irritation, have been associated with the exposure to gasoline containing MTBE. The aim of this study was to assess acute health effects up to the Swedish occupational exposure limit value, both with objective methods and a questionnaire. Ten healthy male volunteers were exposed to MTBE vapor for 2 h at three levels (5, 25, and 50 ppm), during light physical work (50 W). All subjects rated the degree of irritative symptoms, discomfort, and CNS effects before, during, and after all three exposure occasions using a questionnaire. Answers were given on a 100-mm visual analog scale, graded from "not at all" to "almost unbearable." Ocular (redness, tear film break-up time, self-reported tear film break-up time, conjunctival epithelial damage, and blinking frequency) and nasal (mouth and nasal peak expiratory flow, acoustic rhinometry, biochemical inflammatory markers, and cells in nasal lavage) measurements were performed mainly at the highest exposure level. The ratings of solvent smell increased dramatically (ratings up to 50% of the scale) as the volunteers entered the chamber and declined slowly with time (p < 0.05, repeated-measures ANOVA). All other questions were rated from "not at all" to "hardly at all" (0-10% of the scale) with no significant relation to exposure. The eye measurements showed no effects of MTBE exposure. Blockage index, a measure of nasal airway resistance calculated from the peak expiratory flows, increased significantly after exposure; however, the effect was not related to exposure level. In addition, a nonsignificant tendency of decreased nasal volume was seen in the acoustic rhinometry measurements, but with no clear dose-effect relationship. In conclusion, our study suggests no or minimal acute effects of MTBE vapor upon short-term exposure at relatively high levels.
A Nihlén; R Wâlinder; A Löf; G Johanson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Toxicology and applied pharmacology     Volume:  148     ISSN:  0041-008X     ISO Abbreviation:  Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol.     Publication Date:  1998 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-03-12     Completed Date:  1998-03-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0416575     Medline TA:  Toxicol Appl Pharmacol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  281-7     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
Department of Toxicology and Chemistry, National Institute for Working Life, Solna, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
Airway Resistance / drug effects
Atmosphere Exposure Chambers
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Eye Diseases / chemically induced*
Gasoline / adverse effects
Maximum Allowable Concentration
Methyl Ethers / adverse effects*
Middle Aged
Peak Expiratory Flow Rate / drug effects
Rhinitis / chemically induced
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Air Pollutants; 0/Gasoline; 0/Methyl Ethers; 1634-04-4/methyl tert-butyl ether

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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