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Assessment of DNA damage in workers exposed to roofing asphalt.
Reid TM; Hayden CS; Marlow DA; Rinehart R; Mierz J; Werren D; Toraason MA; DeBord DG
Toxicologist 2000 Mar; 54(1):230
To determine the potential for increased genetic damage due to asphalt-fume exposure, the single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay was used to measure DNA strand breaks in peripheral blood leukocytes at the start and end of a work week that involved exposure to asphalt fume, and in some cases coal-tar pitch. The study population consisted of 25 roofers exposed to hot asphalt and 12 construction workers not exposed to asphalt during the past 5 years. Air monitoring and urinary 1-OH-pyrene levels were used to assess PAH exposure. DNA damage is expressed as %Tail DNA (+/- S.E.M.). The average %Tail DNA at the start of the week was 15.1 +/- 0.6 among all roofers and 14.3 +/- 1.1 among controls. The average %Tail DNA at the end of the week was 16.7 +/- 0.6 among roofers and 14.5 +/- 1.0 among controls. In some cases roofers (n=18) were exposed to coal tar pitch during removal of existing roofing materials prior to applying hot asphalt. These roofers had higher air levels of total particulates and benzene solubles as well as urinary 1-OH-pyrene than a subset of roofers (n=7) not exposed to coal-tar pitch for at least 3 months. Start of the week levels of DNA damage were lower in the non-pitch exposed group of roofers (13.7 +/- 0.7) than in the pitch exposed group (16.1 +/- 0.6). End of the week levels of DNA damage were somewhat higher in the pitch-exposed roofers (16.9 +/- 0.8) compared to the group of roofers who were not exposed to pitch (16.1 +/- 0.6). Coal-tar pitch may contribute to higher basal levels of DNA damage than exposure to asphalt fume alone.
DNA damage; Workers; Occupational exposure; Exposure levels; Asphalt fumes; Fumes; Roofers; Roofing industry; Construction workers; Air monitoring; Coal tar pitch; Coal tar
Issue of Publication
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 39th Annual Meeting, March 19-23, 2000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division