Ten male volunteers were exposed to ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGEE) under various conditions of exposure concentration and physical workload. Steady state levels of retention, atmospheric clearance, and rate of uptake were reached immediately after the start of the exposure period for all experimental conditions. Retention was high (64% in resting condition) and increased as physical exercise was performed during exposure. Atmospheric clearance increased as the pulmonary ventilation rate increased. The rate of uptake was higher as exposure concentration or pulmonary ventilation rate, or both, increased. Individual uptake appeared to be governed mainly by transport mechanisms (pulmonary ventilation or cardiac output or both) and not by anthropometric factors. Respiratory elimination of unchanged EGEE accounted for less than or equal to 0.4% of the total body uptake. Postexposure breath concentrations declined rapidly during the first minutes after cessation of exposure, after which a much slower decrease was observed. This slow decrease could be described by a regression equation containing two exponential terms indicating that at least two pharmacological compartments are concerned.
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