Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A vol:65 issue:16 pages:1141-59
Occupational exposure to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) dust has been occasionally associated with lung disease. Our aim was to evaluate the in vitro toxicity of various types of PVC particles in relevant cell culture systems. Six samples from the normal industrial suspension process (PVC-S) and eight samples from the emulsion process (PVC-E) were studied. Cytotoxicity was assessed, using the MTT assay, after 20 h of incubation in A549 cells and in primary cultures of alveolar macrophages (AM) and type II pneumocytes (TII) obtained from rats (r-AM, r-TII) or from human surgical specimens (h-AM, h-TII). Hemolysis was assessed after 2 h of incubation with human erythrocytes (h-RBC). A positive control (crystalline SiO(2), Min-U-Sil) and relevant additives of these PVC particles were tested concurrently. No toxicity of PVC-S particles could be established up to 5 mg/ml in the hemolysis test and 2.5 mg/ml in the MTT assay. In contrast, 4 out of 8 PVC-E particles induced significant toxicity, with EC50 values ranging from 0.7 to 3.7 mg/ml in the hemolysis test and from 0.2 to 1.2 mg/ml in primary cells. The most toxic particles were those that contained the additives with the highest in vitro cytotoxicity. There was a good correlation between EC50 values obtained in relevant bioassays. The sensitivity order of the cell systems was A549 < h-RBC approximately h-TII < or = h-AM < r-TII < or = r-AM for the particles. In conclusion, PVC-E particles produced a moderate in vitro toxicity for primary rat and human pulmonary cells, probably because of the residual presence of additives.