Oxidative effects on lung inflammatory response in rats exposed to different concentrations of formaldehyde.
Groups of 120 male and 120 female rats were exposed by inhalation to 0, 2, 6, or 15 ppm formaldehyde vapor 6 hr/day, 5 days/week, for 18 months of a 24-month study. The present communication describes interim findings based on data available after 18 months of exposure. Squamous cell carcinomas occurred in the nasal cavities of 36 rats exposed to 15 ppm formaldehyde. The tumors ranged from small early carcinomas of the nasal turbinate to large invasive osteolytic neoplasms which extended into the subcutis of the premaxilla. Similar tumors were not detected in rats exposed for 18 months to 2 or 6 ppm or in mice exposed to 2, 6, or 15 ppm formaldehyde. Rhinitis, epithelial dysplasia, and squamous metaplasia occurred in rats from all exposure levels of formaldehyde; however, the severity and extent of the lesions were dose related. In contrast, papillary hyperplasia and squamous atypia occurred only in animals exposed to 15 ppm formaldehyde.