Health assessment of gasoline and fuel oxygenate vapors: neurotoxicity evaluation.

Research paper by James P JP O'Callaghan, Wayne C WC Daughtrey, Charles R CR Clark, Ceinwen A CA Schreiner, Russell R White

Indexed on: 01 Jun '14Published on: 01 Jun '14Published in: Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology


Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed via inhalation to vapor condensates of either gasoline or gasoline combined with various fuel oxygenates to assess potential neurotoxicity of evaporative emissions. Test articles included vapor condensates prepared from "baseline gasoline" (BGVC), or gasoline combined with methyl tertiary butyl ether (G/MTBE), ethyl t-butyl ether (G/ETBE), t-amyl methyl ether (G/TAME), diisopropyl ether (G/DIPE), ethanol (G/EtOH), or t-butyl alcohol (G/TBA). Target concentrations were 0, 2000, 10,000 or 20,000mg/mg(3) and exposures were for 6h/day, 5days/week for 13weeks. The functional observation battery (FOB) with the addition of motor activity (MA) testing, hematoxylin and eosin staining of brain tissue sections, and brain regional analysis of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were used to assess behavioral changes, traditional neuropathology and astrogliosis, respectively. FOB and MA data for all agents, except G/TBA, were negative. G/TBA behavioral effects resolved during recovery. Neuropathology was negative for all groups. Analyses of GFAP revealed increases in multiplebrain regions largely limited to males of the G/EtOH group, findings indicative of minor gliosis, most significantly in the cerebellum. Small changes (both increases and decreases) in GFAP were observed for other test agents but effects were not consistent across sex, brain region or exposure concentration.