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BMJ Open. 2012 Jul 19;2(4). pii: e001318. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001318. Print 2012.

Biomarkers of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and DNA damage: a cross-sectional pilot study among roofers in South Florida.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Aurora, Colorado, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The main goal of this pilot study was to assess the technical and logistic feasibility of a future study. The research hypothesis is that occupational exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are associated with increased risk of DNA damage among roofers who work with hot asphalt.

DESIGN:

This is a cross-sectional pilot study.

SETTING:

The study included roofers from four different construction sites in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

PARTICIPANTS:

19 roofers were recruited (six Hispanics and 13 African-Americans, all male), all of whom were eligible (no history of cancer and no history of chronic diseases of kidneys or liver). All participants provided pre-shift samples and 18 provided post-shift samples. Samples of one participant were excluded from the final analyses as they were considered unreliable.

RESULTS:

Levels of urinary PAH metabolites increased during 6 h of work. Linear regression models of post-shift metabolites included their pre-shift levels, post-shift urinary creatinine levels (for models of 1-OHPyr and 9-OHPhe), and skin burn due to contact with hot asphalt (for models of 1-OHPyr and 1-OHNap). Pre-shift levels of urinary 8-OHdG were not associated with any of the variables considered. For post-shift levels of 8-OHdG, however, post-shift 1-OHPyr (95% CI 0.091 to 0.788) and use of protective gloves (95% CI -1.57 to -0.61) during work explained 86.8% of its variation. Overall, highest levels of urinary PAH metabolites and of 8-OHdG were observed among workers who reported having skin burn and who did not use gloves during work.

CONCLUSIONS:

Urinary 1-OHPyr is a promising predictor of oxidative DNA damage among roofers. Work-related skin burn and use of protective gloves appear to influence PAH exposure and DNA damage levels in this group, suggesting the importance of dermal absorption.

PMID:
22815468
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3401830
Free PMC Article
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