OBJECTIVES--In previous studies, a significant reduction in biological activity of quartz by the surface chemistry of aluminium was noted. Aluminium lactate inhalation one month after quartz exposure significantly suppressed silicosis. In a recent study, it was noted that aluminium inhalation failed to alter the silicosis process after disease was recognised by standard chest radiography in the first year after monthly treatment. METHODS--That study was extended with the same groups of sheep, the aluminium treated group received weekly aerosol of 100 mg of aluminium lactate for an additional two years. All sheep were evaluated at three-month intervals by chest radiography, lung function, and lung lavage. RESULTS--The sheep with silicosis had significantly reduced lung functions, increased cellularity, phospholipids, and hyaluronan. These changes persisted for several years without significant differences between the silicotic sheep with or without the aluminium aerosol treatment. CONCLUSION--Aluminium aerosol treatment of silicosis after radiographic recognition of disease and the end of exposure did not alter the disease process.
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