Sensory irritation in mice exposed to emissions from indoor products

William J. Muller, Marilyn S. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Sensory irritation (SI) in mice exposed to chemical emissions from products was investigated using a modification of an ASTM standard protocol Samples of carpet, ceiling tile, wallcovering, resilient flooring, and veneer were tested as typical indoor products. SI during head-only animal exposure was assessed by monitoring changes in respiratory frequency and waveform when test products were continuously ventilated at either 23 or 70°C (73 or J58°F). Animals were subjected to four 1-hour exposures to product emissions, corresponding to 1, 4, 24, and 27 elapsed hours of product exposure. SI was generally not observed when products were tested at 23°C, but could be induced during at least one exposure period from all products except the carpet sample at 70°C. Although the total volatile organic compound emissions from a given product tested at elevated temperature increased between 5- and 30-fold from the emissions at ambient temperature, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis for the individual chemicals showed differences in the relative chemical compositions of the test atmospheres. Therefore, although increasing the temperature to 70°C may increase the total chemical concentration of product emissions, it may not produce a chemical exposure comparable to that at ambient conditions. Since most human exposure to product emissions occurs at ambient conditions, the significance of irritation at elevated temperatures is therefore questionable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-803
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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