Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1975;1(1):15-30    pdf


Exposure to white spirit. I. Concentration in alveolar air and blood during rest and exercise.

by Åstrand I, Kilbom Å, Övrum P

Fifteen healthy male subjects were exposed to 1,250 and 2,500 mg/m3 of white spirit in inspiratory air during rest and excercise on a bicycle ergometer. The white spirit contained approximately 83% aliphatic and 17% aromatic components. The duration of each exposure period was 30 minutes. The pulmonary ventilation, the cardiac output, and the concentration of white spirit (subdivided into aromatic and aliphatic components) in alveolar air, arterial blood, and venous blood were determined during and after exposure. The concentration of aliphatic and aromatic components in alveolar air tended to level off towards the close of each period. The resting level of the aromatic components increased approximately 2.0 times, and that of aliphatic components about 2.5 times, during exercise with increased intensities. The concentration of aliphatic components in arterial and venous blood increased at the start of each exposure period but tended to level off towards the close of the period. The resting value increased fourfold in work at the highest intensity. However, the concentration of aromatic components rose sharply during each period. The arterial blood concentration was about 15 times higher at the end of exposure during the heaviest exercise intensity than at rest. Pulmonary ventilation appeared to be more important to uptake in arterial blood than to circulation. The results are believed to be due to the differing solubilities of aliphatic and aromatic components in blood. Measurement of the concentration of white spirit in venous or arterial capillary blood is suggested as a biological check on exposure.