Preliminary observations of the effect of inhalation of PVC in man and experimental animals

Environ Health Perspect. 1981 Oct;41:83-4. doi: 10.1289/ehp.814183.


Attention has been focussed, both in man and experimental animals, on the effects of inhalation of the gas monomer, vinyl chloride. Recently, note is being taken of the possible effects of the inhalation of the polymer in man. The particles in question are those produced commercially as paste polymer or dispersion polymer or having an average diameter of 0.15 micrometers, and accounting for more than 10% of the production in Britain. There are now strict regulations for the control of the monomer gas, but the particles are regarded as nuisance dust and their emission is not covered by specific legislation. Our studies on rats, where both inhalation and implantation methods of exposure have been used, and examination of tissue from human cases exposed to paste polymers, indicate that these small particles can only be regarded as evidence of exposure, and on present evidence there is no indication of causation of significant pulmonary disease. Techniques have been developed by which these particles can be demonstrated in ordinary histological preparations and by transmission electron microscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Particle Size
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / adverse effects*
  • Polyvinyls / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sarcoma / chemically induced


  • Aerosols
  • Polyvinyls
  • Polyvinyl Chloride