Monitoring human exposure to urban air pollutants

R. Barale, I. Barrai, I. Sbrana, L. Migliore, A. Marrazini, V. Scarcelli, E. Bacci, A. Di Sibio, A. Tessa, L. Cocchi, V. Lubrano, C. Vassalle, J. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A multidisciplinary study on a general population exposed to vehicle exhaust was undertaken in Pisa in 1991. Environmental factors such as air pollution and those associated with lifestyle were studied. Meanwhile, biological and medical indicators of health condition were investigated. Chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs), and micronuclei in lymphocytes were included for the assessment of the genotoxic risk. Because of the large number (3800) of subjects being investigated, standardization of protocols was compulsory. The results on data reproducibility are reported. To assess the reliability of the protocol on a large scale, the population of Porto Tolle, a village located in northeast Italy, was studied and compared to a subset of the Pisa population. Preliminary results showed that probable differences between the two populations and individuals were present in terms of SCE frequencies. The study was potentially able to detect the effects of several factors such as age, smoking, genetics, and environment. The in vitro treatment of lymphocytes with diepoxybutane confirmed the presence of more responsive individuals and permitted us to investigate the genetic predisposition to genetic damage. The possible influence of environmental factors was studied by correlation analyses with external exposure to air pollutants as well as with several lifestyle factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Monitoring human exposure to urban air pollutants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this