Allyl glycidyl ether is used as a resin intermediate and as a stabilizer of chlorinated compounds, vinyl resins, and rubber. Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies were conducted by exposing groups of Osborne-Mendel rats and B6C3F1 of each sex to allyl gylcidyl ether (greater than 97% pure) by inhalation for 6 hours per day, 5 days per week for 2 weeks, 13 weeks, or 2 years. Genetic toxicology studies were conducted in Salmonella typhimurium, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, and Drosophila melanogaster. Studies of reproductive effects were conducted in rats and mice exposed to allyl glycidyl ether for 8 weeks.
Exposure concentrations ranged up to 500 ppm in rats and 100 ppm in mice. All rats that were exposed to 500 ppm died; no deaths occurred at the next lower (200 ppm) exposure concentration. All male mice and 3/5 female mice exposed to 100 ppm and 2/5 male mice and 1/5 female mice exposed to 50 ppm died. Compound-related lesions in rats and mice included acute inflammation of the nasal passage and major airways.
Eight-week studies of reproductive effects
Rats were exposed to 0-200 ppm allyl glycidyl ether, and mice were exposed to 0-30 ppm, 6 hours per day, 5 days per week for 8 weeks. The mating performance of exposed male rats was markedly reduced; however, sperm motility and number were not affected. No deficiencies were seen in the reproductive performance of exposed female rats or male or female mice.
Exposure concentrations ranged up to 200 ppm for rats and 30 ppm for mice. All rats lived to the end of the studies. The final mean body weights of male rats exposed to 10-200 ppm were 7%-24% lower than that of controls. Clinical signs attributable to irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes were seen in exposed animals. Histologic lesions included squamous metaplasia of the nasal passage in all exposure groups (4 ppm, lowest concentration) and involved both the respiratory epithelium and the olfactory epithelium. The lesions were more severe anteriorly and dorsally and with increasing concentration. At 30 ppm and higher, erosion was seen in the nasal passage and squamous metaplasia was seen in the upper airways.
There were no compound-related deaths in mice. The final mean body weights of mice exposed to 30 ppm were 12% lower than those of controls for both males and females. Mice exposed to 10 or 30 ppm allyl glycidyl ether had squamous metaplasia of the nasal passage, involving both the respiratory epithelium and the olfactory epithelium, which tended to be more severe in the anterior and dorsal portions of the nasal passage. In mice exposed to 30 ppm, epithelial erosions were also found.
Body weights and survival
Two-year studies were conducted by exposing groups of 50 Osborne-Mendel rats and B6C3F1 mice of each sex to 0, 5, or 10 ppm allyl glycidyl ether by inhalation for 6 hours per day, 5 days per week for 102 or 103 weeks. Mean body weights of the exposed rats were within 8% of those of controls throughout the studies. Mean body weights of mice exposed to 5 or 10 ppm were 5%-20% lower than those of controls. Deaths were seen in all groups of male rats beginning at 1 year of age (final survival-- control, 12/50; 5 ppm, 11/50; 10 ppm, 8/50). Survival of female rats was not exposure related (24/50; 30/50; 25/50). Exposed mice had slightly increased survival (male mice: 38/50; 39/50; 46/50; female mice: 33/50; 42/50; 41/50).
Nonneoplastic and neoplastic effects
In male rats exposed to 10 ppm allyl glycidyl ether, three apparently unrelated neoplasms of the nasal passage were found. Two neoplasms, a papillary adenoma and a squamous cell carcinoma, appeared to arise from different cell types in the respiratory epithelium. One poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma in the olfactory region was also found. One papillary adenoma of respiratory epithelial origin was found in a female rat exposed to 5 ppm. Exposure-related nonneoplastic lesions of the nasal passages in rats included inflammation, squamous metaplasia, respiratory metaplasia (replacement of olfactory epithelium by ciliated epithelium), hyperplasia of the respiratory epithelium, and degeneration of the olfactory epithelium. In male mice exposed to 10 ppm allyl glycidyl ether, a hemangioma and three papillary adenomas were present in the nasal passage. In female mice exposed to 10 ppm, a hemangioma and an adenoma were found in the nasal passage. Nonneoplastic lesions of the nasal passages in mice included inflammation, squamous metaplasia, hyperplasia, basal cell hyperplasia, dysplasia of the respiratory epithelium, and metaplasia of the olfactory epithelium. In male mice, there was an exposure-related decrease in the incidences of hepatocellular neoplasms; in female mice, there was a decrease in the incidences of pituitary gland adenomas.
Allyl glycidyl ether was mutagenic in S. typhimurium strains TA100 and TA1535 with and without exogenous metabolic activation; no mutagenic activity was observed in strains TA98 or TA1537. Allyl glycidyl ether induced sister chromatid exchanges and chromosomal aberrations in CHO cells both in the presence and the absence of metabolic activation. A significant increase in sex-linked recessive lethal mutations was recorded in the germ cells of male D. melanogaster fed a sucrose solution containing allyl glycidyl ether, but no increase in reciprocal translocations occurred in these cells.
Under the conditions of these 2-year inhalation studies, there was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity of allyl glycidyl ether for male Osborne-Mendel rats, based on the presence of one papillary adenoma of respiratory epithelial origin, one squamous cell carcinoma of respiratory epithelial origin, and one poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of olfactory epithelial origin, all occurring in the nasal passage of males exposed to 10 ppm. There was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of allyl glycidyl ether for female rats. One papillary adenoma of the respiratory epithelium was present in a female rat exposed to 5 ppm. There was some evidence of carcinogenic activity of allyl glycidyl ether for male B6C3F1 mice, based on the presence of three adenomas of the respiratory epithelium, dysplasia in four males, and focal basal cell hyperplasia of the respiratory epithelium in seven males in the nasal passage of mice exposed to 10 ppm. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity of allyl glycidyl ether for female mice, based on the presence of one adenoma of the respiratory epithelium and focal basal cell hyperplasia of the respiratory epithelium in seven females exposed to 10 ppm. The sensitivity of the assay to detect potential carcinogenicity may have been reduced in male rats because of poor survival in all groups.
In exposed mice, body weights were decreased 10% or more, mortality was decreased, and there were lower incidences of liver neoplasms (males) and pituitary gland adenomas (females) compared with controls.
Significant exposure-related nonneoplastic lesions were restricted to the nasal passage in both rats and mice and induced inflammation, metaplasia, respiratory epithelial hyperplasia, and olfactory epithelial degeneration. Basal cell hyperplasia and dysplasia of the respiratory epithelium of the nasal passage were found only in the mice.