The accumulation of nickel in human lungs.
Using data from published studies, lung concentrations of nickel were compare for persons with and without occupational exposure to nickel. As expected, the concentrations were much higher for persons with occupational exposure. To estimate the effects of nickel-containing tobacco smoke and nickel in the ambient air on the amount of nickel accumulated in lungs over time, a model was derived that took into account various variables related to the deposition of nickel in lungs. The model predicted nickel concentrations that were in the range of those of persons without known nickel exposure. Nickel is a suspected carcinogen and has been associated with an increased risk of respiratory tract cancer among nickel workers. However, before the nickel content of cigarettes can be implicated in the etiology of lung cancer, further studies are needed to evaluate the independent effects of smoking and exposure to nickel.
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