Pneumoconiosis in animals exposed to poly(vinyl chloride) dust

Environ Health Perspect. 1981 Oct;41:73-81. doi: 10.1289/ehp.814173.


Rats, guinea pigs and monkeys were exposed by inhalation (6 hr/day, 5 days/week) for up to 22 months to a 13 mg/m3 concentration of PVC dust. Autopsies on rats and guinea pigs were performed after 12 months of exposure and on monkeys after 22 months after 22 months of exposure. Lung function tests were performed on monkeys after 9, 14 and 22 months of exposure. Aggregates of alveolar macrophages containing PVC particles were found in the lungs of all animals. These aggregates were more numerous in the monkey lungs. No fibrosis or significant cellular infiltrates were present in or near these cellular aggregates. No significant effects on pulmonary function could be demonstrated in the monkeys exposed to PVC. Under the conditions of this experiment, inhaled PVC produced a benign pneumoconiosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dust
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Haplorhini
  • Lung / pathology
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Pneumoconiosis / etiology
  • Pneumoconiosis / pathology*
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / analysis
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / toxicity*
  • Polyvinyls / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Dust
  • Polyvinyls
  • Polyvinyl Chloride