Airborne levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: 32P-postlabeling DNA adducts and micronuclei in white blood cells from traffic police workers and urban residents

Franco Merlo, Claudia Bolognesi, Marco Peluso, Federico Valerio, Angela Abbondandolo, Riccardo Puntoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An epidemiologic study on 94 traffic police officers exposed to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and 52 age-matched urban residents working in confined spaces considered as referent subjects without occupational exposure to PAH was conducted to characterize individual exposure to benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), benzo(b)-, and benzo(k)fluoranthene (BbF and BkF) and the occurrence of DNA adducts and micronuclei in white blood cells (WBC). The study's findings indicated that mean concentrations of PAH in the city air were 10 to 30 times higher among the traffic police officers compared with referent subjects (4.55 ± 3.44 ng/m3 and 0.15 ± 0.30 ng/m3 of BaP among police officers and referents, respectively). 32P-postlabeling DNA adducts in WBC obtained from police officers (1.48 ± 1.35 RAL/108) were significantly higher than in referent subjects (1.01 ± 0.63 RAL/108, P = 0.007), suggesting a possible role of exposure to airborne PAH in the DNA damage. The frequency of micronuclei was significantly increased (P = 0.02) in referent subjects (4.49 ± 2.0% cells) compared with police officers (3.75 ± 1.65% cells) due to the large proportion of females in the former group. Comparison of the mean micronuclei frequencies among 82 male police officers (3.73 ± 1.6%cells) and referents (4.03 ± 1.61% cells) failed to reveal a statistically significant difference (P = 0.38). Our findings support the evidence of a noxious effect of the exposure to airborne PAH found in large cities on the occurrence of DNA adducts in WBC, whereas there seems to be no effect on the cytogenetic risk assessed as micronuclei frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology
Volume16
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Biomarkers for PAH
  • DNA adducts
  • Micronuclei
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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