Journal Article

Ototoxic Potential of JP-8 and a Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Jet Fuel following Subacute Inhalation Exposure in Rats

Laurence D. Fechter, Caroline A. Gearhart and Sherry Fulton

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 116, issue 1, pages 239-248
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfq110
Ototoxic Potential of JP-8 and a Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Jet Fuel following Subacute Inhalation Exposure in Rats

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This study was undertaken to identify the ototoxic potential of two jet fuels presented alone and in combination with noise. Rats were exposed via a subacute inhalation paradigm to JP-8 jet fuel, a kerosene-based fuel refined from petroleum, and a synthetic fuel produced by the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process. Although JP-8 contains small (∼5%) concentrations of aromatic hydrocarbons some of which known to be ototoxic, the synthetic fuel does not. The objectives of this study were to identify a lowest observed adverse effect level and a no observed adverse effect level for each jet fuel and to provide some preliminary, but admittedly, indirect evidence concerning the possible role of the aromatic hydrocarbon component of petroleum-based jet fuel on hearing. Rats (n = 5–19) received inhalation exposure to JP-8 or to FT fuel for 4 h/day on five consecutive days at doses of 500, 1000, and 2000 mg/m3. Additional groups were exposed to various fuel concentrations followed by 1 h of an octave band of noise, noise alone, or no exposure to fuel or noise. Significant dose-related impairment in the distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) was seen in subjects exposed to combined JP-8 plus noise exposure when JP-8 levels of at least 1000 mg/m3 were presented. No noticeable impairment was observed at JP-8 levels of 500 mg/m3 + noise. In contrast to the effects of JP-8 on noise-induced hearing loss, FT exposure had no effect by itself or in combination with noise exposure even at the highest exposure level tested. Despite an observed loss in DPOAE amplitude seen only when JP-8 and noise were combined, there was no loss in auditory threshold or increase in hair cell loss in any exposure group.

Keywords: JP-8 jet fuel; Fischer-Tropsch fuel; hearing loss; noise-induced hearing loss

Journal Article.  6344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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