Three stamped aluminium powders were injected into the lungs of rats. One powder contained stearine and another mineral oil, whilst the third had had its lubricant removed. The powders produced a rapid and marked fibrosis of equal severity. It is concluded that aluminium rather than any additive in the powders is the fibrogenic agent.
The protective action of stearine demonstrated in vitro was not confirmed in vivo, suggesting that pulmonary fibrosis may also occur in men handling stearine-containing powders. Such a case has recently been reported by McLaughlin et al. (1962), but this is exceptional to the general industrial experience.
A granular aluminium powder was also injected into the lungs of rats. In accordance with the results of in vitro experiments, this produced only minimal fibrosis, contrasting strongly with the action of the stamped powders.
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