Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1975;1(2):104-108    pdf


Exposure to methylene chloride. III. Metabolism of 14C-labelled methylene chloride in rat.

by Carlsson A, Hultengren M

The accumulation of methylene chloride and its metabolites in different organs and tissues was studied in an experimental series comprising 10 rats. Each rat was exposed for 1 h to radioactive methylene chloride (14C) in a concentration amounting to 1935 mg/m3 in inspiratory air. Radioactive carbon atoms were found in the isolated carbon monoxide after exposure. There was also a close correlation between the activity of carbon monoxide extracted from the blood sample and the amount of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in the specimen. The largest concentration of methylene chloride and its metabolites per gram of tissue was found in white adipose tissue. This concentration had declined by more than 90% 2 h after exposure, whereas the concentration in the liver declined by about 25% during the same period. The amount accumulated in the brain displayed a decline of about 75% 2 h after exposure. Thus the examination showed that the increased concentration of COHb in the blood during exposure to methylene chloride is due to the metabolism of methylene chloride into carbon monoxide.