A novel system to generate WTC dust particles for inhalation exposures

Joshua M. Vaughan, Brittany J. Garrett, Colette Prophete, Lori Horton, Maureen Sisco, Joleen M. Soukup, Judith T. Zelikoff, Andrew Ghio, Richard E. Peltier, Bahman Asgharian, Lung Chi Chen, Mitchell D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


First responders (FRs) present at Ground Zero within the critical first 72 h after the World Trade Center (WTC) collapse have progressively exhibited significant respiratory injury. The majority (>96%) of WTC dusts were >10 μm and no studies have examined potential health effects of this size fraction. This study sought to develop a system to generate and deliver supercoarse (10-53 μm) WTC particles to a rat model in a manner that mimicked FR exposure scenarios. A modified Fishing Line generator was integrated onto an intratracheal inhalation (ITIH) system that allowed for a bypassing of the nasal passages so as to mimic FR exposures. Dust concentrations were measured gravimetrically; particle size distribution was measured via elutriation. Results indicate that the system could produce dusts with 23 μm mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) at levels up to ≥1200 mg/m 3. To validate system utility, F344 rats were exposed for 2 h to ≈100 mg WTC dust/m 3. Exposed rats had significantly increased lung weight and levels of select tracer metals 1 h after exposure. Using this system, it is now possible to conduct relevant inhalation exposures to determine adverse WTC dusts impacts on the respiratory system. Furthermore, this novel integrated Fishing Line-ITIH system could potentially be used in the analyses of a wide spectrum of other dusts/pollutants of sizes previously untested or delivered to the lungs in ways that did not reflect realistic exposure scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Dust
  • Fishing line
  • Generator
  • Intratracheal inhalation
  • WTC
  • World Trade Center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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