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Environ Health. 2013 Dec 7;12:105. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-105.

Traffic-related exposures and biomarkers of systemic inflammation, endothelial activation and oxidative stress: a panel study in the US trucking industry.

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Exposure Epidemiology and Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Heath, Boston, MA, USA.



Experimental evidence suggests that inhaled particles from vehicle exhaust have systemic effects on inflammation, endothelial activation and oxidative stress. In the present study we assess the relationships of short-term exposures with inflammatory endothelial activation and oxidative stress biomarker levels in a population of trucking industry workers.


Blood and urine samples were collected pre and post-shift, at the beginning and end of a workweek from 67 male non-smoking US trucking industry workers. Concurrent measurements of microenvironment concentrations of elemental and organic carbon (EC & OC), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) combined with time activity patterns allowed for calculation of individual exposures. Associations between daily and first and last-day average levels of exposures and repeated measures of intercellular and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1 & VCAM-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) blood levels and urinary 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) were assessed using linear mixed effects models for repeated measures.


There was a statistically significant association between first and last-day average PM2.5 and 8-OHdG (21% increase, 95% CI: 2, 42%) and first and last-day average OC and IL-6 levels (18% increase 95% CI: 1, 37%) per IQR in exposure. There were no significant findings associated with EC or associations suggesting acute cross-shift effects.


Our findings suggest associations between weekly average exposures of PM2.5 on markers of oxidative stress and OC on IL-6 levels.

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