Formaldehyde, oxidative stress, and FeNO in traffic police officers working in two cities of northern Italy

Giulia Squillacioti, Valeria Bellisario, Amelia Grosso, Federica Ghelli, Pavilio Piccioni, Elena Grignani, Angelo Corsico, Roberto Bono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Personal air formaldehyde (air-FA) was measured as risk factor of airways inflammation and oxidative stress (SO) induction. Overall, 154 police officers were enrolled from two differently urbanised Italian cities, Turin and Pavia. Urinary F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP), a prostaglandin-like compound, was quantified as a biomarker of general OS in vivo and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) was measured for monitoring local inflammatory processes. Urinary cotinine was quantified as a biomarker of tobacco smoking exposure. Traffic police officers living in Turin showed an increased level of log air-FA (p < 0.001), equal to +53.6% (p < 0.001). Log air-(FA) mean values were 3.38 (C.I. 95% 3.33–3.43) and 2.84 (C.I. 95% 2.77–2.92) in Turin and Pavia, respectively. Log (air-FA) was higher in “outdoor workers” (3.18, C.I. 95% 3.13–3.24, p = 0.035) compared to “indoor workers”, showing an increase of +9.3%, even controlling for sex and city. The analyses on 15-F2t-IsoP and FeNO, both adjusted for log air-FA, highlighted that OS and inflammation were higher (+66.8%, p < 0.001 and +75%, p < 0.001, respectively) in Turin traffic police officers compared to those from Pavia. Our findings suggest that even low exposures to traffic-related emissions and urbanisation may influence both general oxidative stress levels and local inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1655
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


  • 15-F2t-isoprostane
  • FeNO
  • Formaldehyde
  • Public health
  • Traffic police officers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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