Adverse health effects of humidifier disinfectants in korea: Lung toxicity of polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate

Ha Ryong Kim, Gi Wook Hwang, Akira Naganuma, Kyu Hyuck Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure to humidifier disinfectants was identified in 2011 as the potential cause of an outbreak of lung disease in Korea. It is estimated that over 8 million people have been exposed to humidifier disinfectants—chemicals added to the water used in humidifiers to prevent the growth of microorganisms—since their commercial introduction. The primary component of humidifier disinfectant products involved was polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate (PHMG-P), a guanidine-based antimicrobial agent. Lesions observed in the lungs of patients were similar to those observed in laboratory animals exposed to PHMG-P. In this review, we outline the physicochemical and toxicological properties of PHMG-P, and introduce a putative mechanism for its lung toxicity based in large part on research findings to date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-717
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Toxicological Sciences
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Humidifier disinfectants
  • Lung toxicity
  • Polyhexamethylene guanidine phosphate (PHMG-P)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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