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EC number: 231-195-2 | CAS number: 7446-09-5
Data on the effects in animals following inhalation exposure towards sulfur dioxide were merely included for completeness reasons. Since adequate human data are available the animal data will not be taken forward for human health risk assessment.Data from experiments in various animal species with acute or short-term exposure support the finding in humans, in that sulfur dioxide causes irritation to the upper respiratory tract and eyes. Furthermore, reduced respiratory defence mechanisms against bacterial infections, changes in lipid metabolism, and changes in liver and blood enzyme activities are also reported. However, animals were exposed to very high sulfur dioxide concentrations (up to 267 mg/m³ in sub-chronic studies or >1000 mg/m³ in acute studies). The exposure levels in long-term animal studies on guinea pigs, monkeys, and dogs were lower (0.35 up to 133 mg/m³) than in short-term animal studies. However, no concentration-response relationships could be established because data were too limited to be useful for quantitative risk assessment.
According to regulation (EC) 1272/2008, a classification for specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure shall be taken into account only when reliable evidence associating repeated exposure to the substance with a consistent and identifiable toxic effect demonstrates support for the classification. These adverse health effects include consistent and identifiable toxic effects in humans, or, in experimental animals, toxicologically significant changes which have affected the function or morphology of a tissue/organ, or have produced serious changes to the biochemistry or haematology of the organism and these changes are relevant for human health.
Nose and throat irritation, depressed lung function and increased airway resistance were identified as critical local effects of sulfur dioxide on the respiratory tract.
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