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Sci Total Environ. 2008 Jan 25;389(2-3):283-8. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

DNA adduct formation among workers in a Thai industrial estate and nearby residents.

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Cancer Risk Factor Branch, Analytical and Biomolecular Cytology Unit, CSPO - Istituto Scientifico della Regione Toscana, Via Cosimo il Vecchio 2, 50139 Florence, Italy.


The genotoxic effects of air pollutant exposures have been studied in people living and working in Map Ta Phut, Rayong province, Thailand, a site where is located the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate (MIE) one of the largest steel, refinery and petrochemical complex in the South-Eastern Asia. This was done by the conduction of a transversal study aimed to compare the prevalence of bulky DNA adducts in groups of subjects experiencing various degree of air pollution. DNA adduct analysis was performed in the leukocytes of 201 volunteers by the (32)P-postlabelling assay: 79 were workers in the MIE complex, including 24 refinery workers, 40 steel workers and 15 tinplate workers, 72 were people residing downwind in the MIE area and 50 were residents in a control district of the same Rayong province but without industrial exposures. The groups of workers were analyzed separately to evaluate if DNA adduct formation differs by the type of industry. The levels of bulky DNA adducts were 1.17+/-0.17 (SE) adducts/10(8) nucleotides in refinery workers, 1.19+/-0.19 (SE) in steel workers, 0.87+/-0.17 (SE) in tinplate workers, 0.85+/-0.07 (SE) in MIE residents and 0.53+/-0.05 (SE) in district controls. No effects of smoking habits on DNA adducts was found. The multivariate regression analysis shows that the levels of DNA adducts were significantly increased among the individuals living near the MIE industrial complex in respect to those resident in a control district (p<0.05). In the groups of occupationally exposed workers, the highest levels of DNA adducts were found among the workers experiencing an occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, e.g. the steel factory and refinery workers. When we have evaluated if the levels of DNA adducts of the PAH exposed workers were different from those of the MIE residents, a statistical significantly difference was found (p<0.05). Our present study indicates that people living near point sources of industrial air pollution can experiment an excess of DNA adduct formation. The emissions from the MIE complex are the main source of air pollution in this area and can be the cause of such increment in the levels of DNA damage.

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