In the US, approximately 1.5 million construction workers are occupationally exposed to cement each year. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a major skin problem reported among cement workers. Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], present as a contaminant in the cement, is believed to be responsible for cement ACD. A significant reduction in the incidence of cement ACD has been reported in certain European countries where the addition of ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) to cement has been mandated. However, the actual involvement of FeSO4 in counteracting the Cr(VI)-mediated cement ACD has been questioned. Presently, we have conducted in vitro cell culture experiments to investigate whether FeSO4 is capable of protecting cells of human dermal origin against Cr(VI)-induced toxicity. Human dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes were treated with potassium dichromate alone or with potassium dichromate and FeSO4. Cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and oxidative stress were determined by MTT assay, TUNEL assay, and by electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis, respectively, in the treated cells. Exposure of the cells to potassium dichromate alone resulted in concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and oxidative stress. The Cr(VI)-induced cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and oxidative stress in the dermal cell lines were significantly blocked by the addition of FeSO4 to the cell culture medium. Analysis of the global gene expression profile in the cells further confirmed the protective role of FeSO4 in Cr(VI) toxicity and provided novel insights regarding Cr(VI) toxicity as well as the protective role of FeSO4. In summary, our results demonstrated a protective role for FeSO4 in Cr(VI) toxicity suggesting that the addition of FeSO4 to cement may be helpful to prevent or at least reduce the incidence of cement ACD among construction workers in the US. Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this abstract have not been formally disseminated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and should not be constructed to represent any agency determination or policy.
Allergic-dermatitis; Allergic-reactions; Biological-effects; Biological-factors; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Cement-industry; Cell-biology; Cell-cultures; Cell-function; Cell-metabolism; Cellular-reactions; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Construction; Construction-materials; Cytotoxicity; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Occupational-dermatitis; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Oxidative-metabolism; Skin; Skin-disorders; Skin-exposure; Skin-irritants; Skin-sensitivity; Toxic-effects
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 48th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, March 15-19, 2009, Baltimore, Maryland