Pulmonary manifestations of vinyl and polyvinyl chloride (interstitial lung disease). Newer aspects

Chest. 1980 Dec;78(6):828-34. doi: 10.1378/chest.78.6.828.


Newer varieties of occupational lung diseases primarily due to the vast increase in industrial technology have been reported recently. Preeminent among such newer agents are vinyl chloride (VC) and polyvinyl chloride. Very few cases have been reported, in Europe only, with descriptive histopathologic changes. To our knowledge, no pathologic studies of VC exposure have been described in the American literature. The biopsy abnormalities in our patients disclosed desquamation of alveolar macrophages into the alveolar lumina and minor interstitial and alveolar inflammatory changes. Pulmonary function abnormalities included restrictive insufficiency. Preventive therapy consists of the avoidance of further exposures, frequent industrial hygiene monitoring, and total avoidance of tobacco smoke, as well as associated atmospheric pollutants. Thus far, none of these patients has exhibited evidence of pulmonary neoplasms. All three patients survived their occupational injuries, and two are still disabled to varying degrees. Urine and blood levels of phthalic acid derivatives were elevated in two patients, the exact significance of which is not fully known. It probably represents a toxicologic response, but must be further pursued before conclusions can be reached.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Dental Technicians
  • Electronics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Meat-Packing Industry
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / adverse effects*
  • Polyvinyls / adverse effects*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / pathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / chemically induced*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Radiography
  • Vinyl Chloride / adverse effects*
  • Vinyl Compounds / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Polyvinyls
  • Vinyl Compounds
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Vinyl Chloride