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DNA strand breaks, oxidative damage, and 1-OH pyrene in roofers with coal-tar pitch dust and/or asphalt fume exposure.

Toraason MA; Hayden C; Marlow D; Rinehart R; Mathias P; Werren D; DeBord DG; Reid TM
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2001 Aug; 74(6):396-404
OBJECTIVE: To determine the potential for asphalt fume exposure to increase DNA damage, we conducted a cross-sectional study of roofers involved in the application of roofing asphalt. METHODS: DNA strand breaks and the ratio of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) to 2-deoxyguanosine (dG) were measured in peripheral blood leukocytes of roofers. In addition, urinary excretion of 8-OHdG and 8-epi-prostaglandin F2alpha (8-epi-PGF) was also measured. The study population consisted of 26 roofers exposed to roofing asphalt and 15 construction workers not exposed to asphalt during the past 5 years. A subset of asphalt roofers (n = 19) was exposed to coal-tar pitch dust (coal tar) during removal of existing roofs prior to applying hot asphalt. Personal air monitoring was performed for one work-week to measure exposure to total particulates, benzene-soluble fraction of total particulates, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Urinary 1-OH-pyrene levels were measured as an internal biomarker of PAC exposure. RESULTS: Full-shift breathing zone measurements for total particulates, benzene-solubles and PACs were significantly higher for coal-tar exposed workers than for roofers not exposed to coal tar. Similarly, urinary 1-OH-pyrene levels were higher in coal-tar exposed roofers than roofers not exposed to coal tar. Total particulates or benzene-soluble fractions were not associated with urinary 1-OH-pyrene, but PAC exposure was highly correlated with urinary 1-OH-pyrene. When stratified by 1-OH-pyrene excretion, DNA strand breaks increased in a dose-dependent manner, and leukocyte 8-OHdG/dG decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Significant changes in DNA damage appeared to be linked to PACs from coal-tar exposure, although asphalt fume alone was associated with a small but significant increase in urinary 1-OH-pyrene and DNA strand breaks. CONCLUSIONS: Results are consistent with previous reports that asphalt or coal-tar exposure can cause DNA damage. Urinary 8-epi-PGF remained relatively constant during the week for virtually all subjects, regardless of exposure indicating that neither asphalt nor coal-tar exposure induces an overt oxidative stress. A small, but statistically significant increase in 8OHdG was evident in end-of-week urine samples compared with start-of-week urine samples in roofers exposed to coal-tar. The increase in urinary 8OHdG coupled with the decrease in leukocyte 8-OHdG/dG, suggests that coal-tar exposure induces protective or repair mechanisms that result in reduced levels of steady-state oxidative-DNA damage.
DNA-damage; Oxidative-processes; Coal-tar-pitch; Asphalt-fumes; Exposure-levels; Roofers; Roofing-and-sheet-metal-work; Roofing-industry; Author Keywords: DNA strand breaks; Oxidative DNA damage; 1-OH Pyrene; Asphalt fume; Coal tar pitch; 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanosine; 8-Epi-prostaglandin2x
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Lehnert G
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Internatinal Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division