Toxicological Effects of Particulate Matter Derived from the Destruction of the World Trade Center [open pdf - 2MB]
The goal of the experiments described in this report was to evaluate the toxicity of fine particulate matter (PM) derived from the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on the respiratory tract of mice, and thereby contribute to the short-term health risk assessment of WTC PM being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The adopted approach allowed a comparison of the intrinsic acute toxicity of fine WTC PM in the respiratory tract to well-studied PM reference samples that range in toxicity from essentially inert to quite toxic. The fundamental question was whether fine WTC PM was uniquely highly toxic. This toxicological research complements efforts by EPA and other organizations to assess the extent and level of worker and public exposures to PM derived from the WTC disaster and recovery efforts. This research is informative, but it is of limited scope, with a focus on the toxicological effects of the fine fraction of WTC dust from a single exposure. A more complete characterization of potential health effects would include consideration of other size fractions, repeated exposures, additional doses and endpoints, and responses in species or strains of differing sensitivity. It was not possible to assess these other considerations in the present study.