The thoracic region of rats was irradiated to initiate a sequence of histopathological changes in the lungs. The clearance of particles that were injected intratracheally into the lungs was measured at 1 hour and at 7, 15, and 30 days following irradiation. Clearance rates were measured directly by an esophageal collection technique over a 9.5-hour period. No significant difference in the cumulative clearance of the particles over 9.5 hours or in the clearance rates was detected between irradiated and sham-irradiated animals, although severe histopathological damage was present in the lungs of the irradiated animals. A composite clearance curve for all animals over a 9.5-hour period was described by two exponential functions with half-life values of 0.46 hour and 3.83 hours, respectively.

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