[South Korea] A team of researchers from the Human Harm Factor Inhalation Toxicity Research Group at the Institute for Safety Evaluation confirmed that exposure of PHMG-P (polyhexamethylene guadinine), one of the humidifier disinfectant components, to animal model respirators caused asthma-like symptoms.
PHMG-P is a chemical commonly used as a disinfectant or anti-corruption agent, and was used as a humidifier disinfectant because it is lower in toxicity, better in sterilization, and more soluble in water when skin contact or ingestion.
There have been cases of asthma damage caused by the use of humidifier disinfectants containing PHMG-P, which has become a social problem. However, in animal models, the correlation of PHMG-P to asthma symptom-causing respiratory exposure has not been clearly established.
The research team repeatedly exposed PHMG-P in the airway in BALB/c mice for a total of 25 days, and compared asthma patterns with experimental groups that induced allergic asthma with orchid albumin.
The BALB/c mouse is the most commonly used animal in research fields such as tumors, inflammation and autoimmune. It is widely used in asthma research due to its high airway resistance, producing cytokine in many globulin E(IgE) and bronchial alveoli cleaning solutions (BALF), and showing a higher number of BALF cells.
Ovalbumin is commonly used in mouse airway inflammation models induced by OVA antigens in the development of bronchial asthma and in the study of the efficacy of new drugs. It is characterized by an acid-composed inflammatory reaction and an IgE-mediated allergic reaction.
Until now, there have been no reports of animal model utilization studies on quasi-asthma symptoms caused by exposure to PHMG-P respiratory machinery, but this study could be used as a basis for asthma development due to the use of humidifier disinfectant products containing PHMG-P. Lee Kyu-hong, head of the research team, said the study shows a different pattern from typical allergic asthma caused by PHMG-P. This study is expected to be useful in identifying the causes of various respiratory diseases and developing treatments in the future.