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Low level exposure to GB vapor in air: Diagnosis/dosimetry, lowest observable effect level (LOEL) and lowest observable adverse effect level (LOAEL)

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Author: Trap, H.C. · Kuijpers, W.C. · Groen, B. · Oostdijk, J.P. · Vanwersch, R.A.P. · Phillippens, I.H.C. · Langenberg, J.P. · Benschop, H.P. · Helden, H.P.M. van
Source:BioScience 2000, US Army Medical Defense Bioscience Review, 4-9 June 2000, 463-482
Identifier: 526830
Keywords: Warfare


The purpose of the present study was to establish for both saline-pretreated and pyridostigmine-pretreated conscious guinea pigs whole-body exposed to low levels of GB vapor: (i) The Lowest Observable Effect Level (LOEL) for GB, i.e., the C.t-value (t = 5-h) of exposure at which an internal dose (fluoride-regenerated GB from blood ChE) becomes measurable. (ii) The Lowest Observable Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) for GB, i.e., the C.t-value (t = 5-h) of exposure at which effects start to affect performance. (iii) Whether unexpected adverse effects on performance emerge through the combination of pyridostigmine-pretreatment and GB exposure. Read-out parameters reflecting adverse effects on performance during exposure were pupil size (miosis), EEG, visually evoked response (VER), and 1-h after exposure startle-response and shuttle-box active avoidance behavior. The lowest exposure concentration of GB which resulted in significant (p < 0.05) effects on these parameters by the end of a 5-h exposure period was taken for calculating the LOAEL (C.t-value) for each of these parameters. The averaged LOEL for saline-pretreated guinea pigs was 0.010 ± 0.002.0 mg.min.m-3 (t = 84 ± 17 min) which did not differ significantly from that of pyridostigmine-pretreated animals (0.014 ± 0.002.0 mg.min.m-3). These data were addressed in the light of the recommended occupational limits for GB vapor in air.