Respiratory responses of young asthmatic volunteers in controlled exposures to sulfuric acid aerosol
Avol, E.L.; Linn, W.S.; Shamoo, D.A.; Anderson, K.R.; Peng, R.C.; Hackney, J.D.
American Review of Respiratory Disease 142(2): 343-348
ISSN/ISBN: 0003-0805 PMID: 2382897 DOI: 10.1164/ajrccm/142.2.343
Thirty-two asthmatic volunteers 8 to 16 yr of age, recruited through local schools and private physicians, were exposed in a chamber to clean air (control condition) and to sulfuric acid aerosol at a "low" concentration (46 +/- 11 micrograms/m3; mean +/- SD) and at a "high" concentration (127 +/- 21 micrograms/m3). Acid aerosols had mass median aerodynamic diameters near 0.5 microns with geometric standard deviations near 1.9. Temperature was 21 degrees C, and relative humidity was near 50%. Subjects were exposed with unencumbered oronasal breathing for 30 min at rest plus 10 min at moderate exercise (ventilation rate approximately 20 L/min/m2 of body surface). A subgroup (21 subjects) were exposed similarly to clean air and to "high" acid (134 +/- 20 micrograms/m3) with 100% oral breathing. Increased symptoms and bronchoconstriction were found after exercise under all exposure conditions. For the group, symptom and lung function responses were not statistically different during control and during acid exposures with unencumbered breathing or with oral breathing. By contrast, other investigators have reported statistically significant lung function disturbances in groups of young asthmatics exposed similarly with oral breathing. A minority of our subjects showed possibly meaningful excess bronchoconstriction with "high" acid exposure relative to control with both routes of breathing. This could be the result of chance, or it could suggest the existence of an acid-sensitive subpopulation of young asthmatics.