A head-only exposure system for controlled exposures of small rodents.
We have designed a low-cost, compact, head-only exposure system which is easy to use and allows exposure of up to 8 or 16 small rodents depending on the chamber used with the system. Animals are exposed without anesthesia or extreme restraint. Deflection tubes at the chamber inlet and outlet serve to provide turbulent flow within the chamber. Performance of the exposure system was evaluated by analyzing data which was collected during investigations of the kinetics of respirable nickel chloride (NiCl2) and cobalt chloride (CoCl2) aerosols in Sprague-Dawley rats. Acute 2 h exposure to NiCl2 at concentrations ranging from 129 to 1208 micrograms Ni/m3 (MMAD 0.7-0.9 micron, sigma g 1.2-1.5) had a mean run-to-run coefficient of variation (cv) in chamber concentration of 11.6%, and a mean within-run cv of 8.5%. A 26-day repeated exposure of 3 groups of rats to 18.4 micrograms Ni/m3 gave a mean run-to-run cv of 20.9%, mean within-run cv of 10.2%, and within-day cv of 14.5%. Acute exposure studies with CoCl2 at concentrations ranging from 298 to 1371 micrograms Co/m3 (MMAD 0.9, sigma g 1.4) produced a mean run-to-run cv of 8.4% and a mean within-run cv of 7.8%. The repeated exposure of 2 groups of rats for 5 days to CoCl2 at a concentration of 583 micrograms Co/m3 had a mean run-to-run cv of 10.1%, a within-run cv of 7.4% and a within-day cv of 6.8%. The distribution of aerosol within the chamber is shown to have been uniform, and chamber performance was linear over the range tested. This system provides an inexpensive and uniform means of conducting inhalation exposure studies with selected airborne contaminants that might represent a potential health hazard.
Francovitch, RJ; Deal, DL; Tayyeb, MI; Wolpert, RL; Boger, JR; Valentini, JE; Menzel, DB
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