Guinea pigs were exposed for a period of 1 hour to aerosols of sulfate salts. With the exception of sodium sulfate, all the sulfates caused a slight increase in pulmonary flow resistance and a slight decrease in pulmonary compliance. The order of irritant potency was ammonium sulfate > ammonium bisulfate > cupric sulfate. All the sulfate salts were less irritant than sulfuric acid. The particle size range was limited (0.1-0.8 μm, mass median diameter), but, in general, the degree of response increased with decreased size. Of the four sulfates tested, only copper sulfate potentiated the response to sulfur dioxide. The possible practical implications of these findings are discussed. © 1978.
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