Adaptation to ozone: duration of effect

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1981 May;123(5):496-9. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1981.123.5.496.


Repeated ozone exposure induces an adaptative response whereby subsequent ozone exposure induces little or no pulmonary function change. The time course of the adaptation and the persistence of this adaptation was determined in 24 subjects. Subjects were studied for 125 min while they exercised intermittently. They were exposed to filtered air for 1 day and then in the next week for 5 consecutive days to 0.5 ppm ozone. After the fifth day, subjects were randomly assigned to return for one more ozone exposure at 1, 2, or 3 wk. The greatest decrement in FEV1 occurred on the second day of exposure. The number of consecutive ozone exposures required to produce adaptation varied from 2 to 5 days. Persistence of adaptation in ozone-sensitive subjects (initial decrease in FEV1 greater than 10%) showed marked individual variability, but the duration of adaptation was shortest for the more sensitive subjects. Adaptation, on the average, lasted for less than 2 wk, being as short as 7 days and as long as 20 days. We concluded that more sensitive subjects required more daily sequential exposures in order to adapt.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Forced Expiratory Flow Rates
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology
  • Male
  • Ozone / pharmacology*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness


  • Ozone