Diseases affecting the respiratory and cardiovascular systems are on the increase in many developing countries and often lead to death. Life style and work environment tend to contribute to the ugly development which is worsened by lack of the right drugs for treatment. Empirical observations showed that the disease was seen more in people exposed to chemical fumes. Unfortunately, majority of the radiology practices in developing countries including Nigeria is darkroom-based, thus exposing radiographers and darkroom staff to x-ray film processing chemical fumes. This experimental research was aimed at investigating the cardiopulmonary reactions in wistar rats exposed to x-ray film developer solutions of varying concentrations. Eighteen apparently healthy wistar rats of 20-24week weighing between 208g and 210g were put in three groups A-C of 6rats each. Group A was the control group while groups Band C were the experimental groups. The rats in the experimental groups were exposed to varying concentrations of the x-ray film developer solution fumes for periods ranging from 15-30days (1st -30th June, 2014) while the rats in the control group were not. At the end of each desired period, two rats from each group were randomly selected, painlessly sacrificed and the lungs and hearts harvested and sent to the medical laboratory sciences department of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital for examination and analysis. Micrographs of the lungs tissues in the experimental groups showed histological changes of tissue injury evidenced by macrophage infiltration, distortion of interstitial tissue architecture, thickening of basement membrane, tissue fibrosis and formation of pleomorphic nuclei which are inflammatory responses indicating cellular injuries. The observed histological changes increased with the concentration of the developer solution and the duration of exposure to the developer solution. Micrographs of the hearts in the experimental and control groups showed normal histological appearances. When the changes in the lungs are extrapolated to a 70kg human subject, these histological changes would manifest within twenty-five year of exposure to the developer solution.
The Editor in Chief, Journal of Experimental Research Department of Anatomy, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, College Of Medicine (ESUCOM), GRA Enugu, Nigeria.
Enugu State University of Science and Technology