Health assessment of gasoline and fuel oxygenate vapors: subchronic inhalation toxicity.

Research paper by Charles R CR Clark, Ceinwen A CA Schreiner, Craig M CM Parker, Thomas M TM Gray, Gary M GM Hoffman

Indexed on: 16 Jul '14Published on: 16 Jul '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 whether their use in gasoline influences the hazard of evaporative emissions. Test substances included vapor condensates prepared from an EPA described "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/m(3) and exposures were for 6h/day, 5days/week for 13weeks. A portion of the animals were maintained for a four week recovery period to determine the reversibility of potential adverse effects. Increased kidney weight and light hydrocarbon nephropathy (LHN) were observed in treated male rats in all studies which were reversible or nearly reversible after 4weeks recovery. LHN is unique to male rats and is not relevant to human toxicity. The no observed effect level (NOAEL) in all studies was 10,000mg/m(3), except for G/MTBE (<2000) and G/TBA (2000). The results provide evidence that use of the studied oxygenates are unlikely to increase the hazard of evaporative emissions during refueling, compared to those from gasoline alone.