Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome following exposure to a fluorocarbon. (1/5)

This report describes the case of a 43-yr-old male who developed reactive airways dysfunction syndrome after exposure to a high level of bromotrifluoromethane (CF3Br, Halon 1301), a fluorocarbon widely used in automatic fire extinguishing systems. The patient was a previously healthy, nonatopic male, who developed wheezing and intermittent and reversible obstructive ventilatory impairment starting immediately after a large accidental nonfire-related release of CF3Br in a confined space.  (+info)

Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome caused by bromochlorodifluoromethane from fire extinguishers. (2/5)

Although the neurological and cardiovascular effects of Freons have been extensively described, the respiratory effects have been less well documented. We report four cases of occupational asthma following accidental exposure to bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211) due to release of the contents of a fire extinguisher. All subjects developed an irritative reaction of the upper airways and lower respiratory symptoms immediately after exposure. Non-specific bronchial hyperreactivity was present for at least two months in all subjects and was still present more than two years after exposure in one case. The diagnosis of reactive airways dysfunction syndrome can be adopted in at least three of these four cases.  (+info)

A possible mechanism of halocarbon-induced cardiac sensitization arrhythmias. (3/5)

Cardiac sensitization is the term used for malignant ventricular arrhythmias associated with exposure to inhaled halocarbons in the presence of catecholamines. We investigated the electrophysiological changes associated with cardiomyocyte exposure to epinephrine and a halocarbon known to be associated with cardiac sensitization (halon 1301, CF3Br). Cardiomyocytes (CMs) were isolated from neonatal rats and grown on multielectrode arrays (MEAs). Upon exposure to epinephrine, the CM inter-spike interval (ISI) was decreased 14% at 10 microg/L (P<0.05) and 27% at 100 microg/L (P<0.05) as compared to baseline. Halon alone (50 mg/L) mildly prolonged the field potential (FP) duration (7%). CMs exposed to combinations of epinephrine (100 microg/L) and halon (50 mg/L) for 15 min showed a blunted increase in the ISI (35+/-12%) and a 38% decrease in conduction velocity (P<0.05) when compared to epinephrine alone. There was no change in field potential properties, but dephosphorylated connexin 43 (Cx43) was increased 60+/-16% with the combination as compared to epinephrine alone (P<0.05). Treatment with okadaic acid, a phosphatase inhibitor, prevented the Cx43 dephosphorylation and the reduction in conduction velocity upon exposure to halon and epinephrine. Moreover, the electrophysiological changes induced by epinephrine and halon were indistinguishable from those seen with the gap junction inhibitor heptanol. In conclusion, the combination of a halocarbon and epinephrine results in a unique electrophysiological signature including slow conduction that may explain, in part, the basis for cardiac sensitization. The slowing of conduction is most likely related to changes in the phosphorylation state of Cx43.  (+info)

Grand rounds: outbreak of hematologic abnormalities in a community of people exposed to leakage of fire extinguisher gas. (4/5)

CONTEXT: Although there are ample data on the respiratory effects of exposure to fire extinguisher gas, the potential hematologic effects have not been fully documented. We conducted this study to determine the possible etiologic agent(s) for a decrease in red blood cells among community residents in Taipei, Taiwan, after they were exposed to leakage of mixed fire extinguishants containing bromotrifluoromethane (CF3Br, Halon 1301), bromochlorodifluoromethane (CF2BrCl, Halon 1211), and dichlorodifluoromethane (CCl2F2, CFC-12). CASE PRESENTATION: We studied 117 exposed residents who came into one hospital for physical examinations. We also selected age- and sex-matched referents for comparison from residents who came to the same hospital for health examinations. Nine months after the exposure to mixed fire extinguishants, 91 of the exposed residents came back for a second physical examination. In the first examination of the exposed residents, we found a significant reduction in red blood cell count and hemoglobin and a relationship between dose and response. DISCUSSION: After excluding iron-deficiency anemia, thalassemia, and other possible agents, we suspected that the hematologic effects might have resulted from pyrolytic products of CFC-12 and Halon 1211, which may contain phosgene, among other products. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The acute transient hematologic effects observed in the exposed residents were associated with the incident of leakage of mixed fire-extinguisher gases and were most likely caused by a small amount of pyrolytic products, probably phosgene. Nine months after the exposure, we found a significant improvement in the abnormalities without any specific treatment.  (+info)

Assessment of the reproductive toxicology of bromochlorodifluoromethane (BCF, halon 1211) in the rat. (5/5)

The effect of bromochlorodifluoromethane (BCF) on reproduction in the rat has been investigated in two studies. Pregnant female rats were exposed by inhalation to 1000, 10,000, or 50,000 ppm BCF for six hours a day on days six to 15 of gestation (day of mating = day 0). Exposure to 50,000 ppm BCF caused a reduction in maternal weight gain over the exposure period but there was no evidence of either teratogenicity or embryo/fetotoxicity at any concentration. In a study designed to assess the potential effect of BCF during a complete reproductive cycle male and female rats were exposed to 5000 ppm or 25,000 ppm BCF for six hours a day for five days a week for 10 weeks (males) or three weeks (females) before mating. Exposure to BCF continued during mating and up to day 20 of gestation for half the females which were subsequently allowed to litter and the development of their offspring monitored. The remaining females were removed from exposure to BCF after mating and killed on day 20 of gestation for examination of their uterine contents. There were no effects on adult fertility, pup numbers, survival, or pup development. It was concluded that BCF had no reproductive toxicity potential in the rat.  (+info)