TOXICOLOGIC EVALUATION OF HUMECTANTS ADDED TO CIGARETTE TOBACCO: 13-WEEK SMOKE INHALATION STUDY OF GLYCERIN AND PROPYLENE GLYCOL IN FISCHER 344 RATS
Source: Inhalation Toxicology, Volume 14, Number 11, 1 November 2002 , pp. 1135-1152(18)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Glycerin (CAS no. 56-81-5) and propylene glycol (CAS no. 57-55-6) are commonly used as humectant ingredients in manufactured cigarettes to control and maintain the moisture content of the cut tobacco filler. The potential of these added humectants to affect the toxicity of cigarette smoke was investigated in a subchronic nose-only smoke inhalation study in rats. Filtered test cigarettes were prepared from an American-style tobacco blend containing either glycerin added at 5.1% w/w tobacco, propylene glycol at 2.2% w/w tobacco, or combinations of these humectants totaling 2.3%, 3.9%, and 7.2% w/w tobacco. Other groups of animals were exposed similarly to the smoke of reference cigarettes without added humectants, or to filtered air (sham control). Smoke exposures were conducted for 1 h/ day, 5 days/wk for 13 wk, at target smoke particulate concentrations of 350 mg/m3. All smoke-exposed groups had equivalent increases in blood carboxyhemoglobin, serum nicotine, and serum cotinine relative to the air controls. Smoke-associated reductions in body weights and occasional increases in heart and lung weights were generally similar among the various exposure conditions at necropsy. Increases in serum alkaline phosphatase and decreases in serum glucose and cholesterol were observed among smoke-exposed females relative to air controls. However, no significant differences in these parameters were evident between the humectant-containing and reference cigarette smoke exposure groups. Assessments of respiration conducted after 3, 6, 9, and 12 wk of smoke exposure indicated an initial smoke-related but not humectant-related decrease in respiratory rate, tidal volume, and minute volume during the first 20 min of each smoke exposure. Respiratory-tract histopathology was consistent across sexes and smoke groups, comprising (1) diffuse and focal alveolar pigmented macrophages and chronic interstitial inflammation in the lung, (2) laryngeal epithelial hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, and scab formation, and (3) epithelial hyperplasia in the anterior nose. Smoke-related histopathology resolved substantially during a 6-wk postexposure recovery period. Addition of the tested humectants to cigarettes, singly or in combination, had no meaningful effect on the site, occurrence, or severity of respiratory-tract changes or on the measured indices of pulmonary function. It was concluded that the addition of glycerin and propylene glycol to cigarettes does not significantly affect the biological activity of inhaled cigarette smoke in this rat model.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2002-11-01