Three weeks following intratracheal instillations of elastase dissolved in saline, or saline alone, guinea pigs and rats were exposed for 5 or 20 days, 6 hr/day, 5 days/week to filtered room air, 1 mg/cu.m. ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4) or 1 mg/cu.m. ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) aerosols. Pulmonary function evaluations conducted in guinea pigs showed no detrimental effects of (NH4)2SO4) or NH4NO3 exposure and very little effect of elastase treatment. Lung function changes in elastase treated rats were consistent with a condition of experimentally induced pulmonary emphysema. Rats exposed to NH4NO3 aerosols showed no consistent exposure-related changes. Compared with air-exposed animals, rats exposed to (NH4)2SO4 aerosols had increased values of residual volume and functional residual capacity and decreased slope of single-breath N2 washout curves. The authors conclude that elastase treatment had no significant effect on lung function changes resulting from inhalation of (NH4)2SO4 aerosols. Lung function was more affected by (NH4)2SO4 exposure than by NH4NO3 exposure, and lung function changes were more pronounced in rats than in guinea pigs.