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Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 8
effects. However, the effects are not disabling and are transient and reversible upon cessation of exposure.
AEGL-2 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience irreversible or other serious, long-lasting adverse health effects or an impaired ability to escape.
AEGL-3 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience life-threatening health effects or death.
Airborne concentrations below the AEGL-1 represent exposure levels that could produce mild and progressively increasing but transient and nondisabling odor, taste, and sensory irritation or certain asymptomatic, non-sensory effects. With increasing airborne concentrations above each AEGL, there is a progressive increase in the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of effects described for each corresponding AEGL. Although the AEGL values represent threshold levels for the general public, including susceptible subpopulations, such as infants, children, the elderly, persons with asthma, and those with other illnesses, it is recognized that individuals, subject to idiosyncratic responses, could experience the effects described at concentrations below the corresponding AEGL.
Fluorine is a reactive, highly irritating and corrosive gas used in the nuclear energy industry, as an oxidizer of liquid rocket fuels, and in the manufacture of various fluorides and fluorocarbons. Fluorine is a severe irritant to the eyes, mucous membranes, lungs, and skin; the eyes and the respiratory tract are the target organ and tissues of an acute inhalation exposure. Death is due to pulmonary edema. Data on irritant effects in humans and lethal and sublethal effects in five species of mammals (dog, rat, mouse, guinea pig, and rabbit) were available for development of AEGL values.
Regression analyses of the concentration-exposure durations (for the fixed end point of mortality) for all of the animal species reported in the key study (Keplinger and Suissa 1968) determined that the relationship between concentration and time is Cn × t = k, where n = approximately 2 (actual value of n for the most sensitive species in irritation and lethality studies, the mouse, is 1.77). This concentration exposure duration relationship was applied to both the AEGL-2 and AEGL-3 levels because the irritant and corrosive action of fluorine on the respiratory tissues differs by only a matter of degree for these AEGL levels: (1) respiratory irritation with edema resulting in mild, reversible lung congestion, and (2) severe respiratory irritation resulting in severe lung congestion. Death results from acute pulmonary edema and consequent respiratory failure. Although the data base for fluorine is small, the data from the key study, aug-