The effects of hydrogen chloride (HCI inhalation on respiratory response during exposure and on pulmonary function during the 3 mo following exposure were studied in the baboon. Each of 4 groups of three anesthetized animals was exposed in a headonly mode for 15 min to air or one of three HCI concentrations (500, 5000, or 10, 000ppm). The acute respiratory response consisted of a concentration-related increase in frequency and minute volume, with a marked decrease in blood PaO2at the two highest concentrations. The exposures did not cause significant alterations in any of the pulmonary function parameters measured at 3 d and 3 mo postexposure. Thus, nonhuman primates were able to survive short exposures to high concentrations of HCI without any significant effects on pulmonary function during the 3 mo after exposure. Furthermore, comparison of the response of primates and rodents suggests that the human is much less sensitive to the effects of HCI than the mouse.
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