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Toxicol Ind Health. 2002 Jul;18(6):269-78.

Not only training but also exposure to chlorinated compounds generates a response to oxidative stimuli in swimmers.

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INSERM U420, Faculté de Médecine, BP 184, 54505 Vandauvre-leś-Nancy, France.


Relations between exposure to chlorinated compounds and biological markers of response to oxidative stimuli were investigated in swimmers, taking into account the effect of training. Twenty-two male swimmers aged 15-25 years were surveyed twice. Prevalence of irritant symptoms and asthma and number of hours of training were reported. Exposure to nitrogen trichloride (NCl3) and blood response to oxidative stimuli [catalase, superoxide dismutase (Cu2+/Zn2+ SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities and ceruloplasmin, ferritin and total antioxidant concentrations] were measured. Univariate analyses were completed by multivariate analyses. High prevalences of irritant symptoms and asthma were found. Multivariate analysis confirmed the results of the univariate analyses and showed that Cu2+/Zn2+ SOD activity was increased by exposure and by training (P = 0.01, P = 0.0001, respectively). Erythrocyte GSH-Px was decreased, whereas plasma GSH-Px was increased by exposure (P = 0.002, P = 0.002). No other association was found. Higher irritant symptoms and increases in the activities of erythrocyte Cu2+/Zn2+ SOD and of plasma GSH-Px with exposure support the hypothesis that the production of reactive oxygen species is not only related to training but also to exposure to chlorinated compounds. Other athletes tend to have respiratory problems such as asthma, but the exposure to chlorinated compounds may increase the respiratory disease among swimmers.

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