Biomarkers of evaluation of complex environmental exposure : exposure assessment of sewage workers to genotoxicants

Abstract : Sewage workers are exposed to a wide variety of mixtures of chemicals many were shown to be genotoxicants or carcinogens. The aim of this cross sectional study was to explore integrated biomarkers of exposure and of early effects among sewage workers in order to better assess their carcinogenic risk (Paper I-protocol). Paper II, describes the validation step performed prior to choose the cellular line that meet our objectives. Over 10 months and on weekly basis, we, a) assessed the personal exposure of sewage (n=34) and office (n=30) workers (control group) to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air of workplaces, b) evaluated the genotoxicity of organic urine extracts by in vitro comet and micronucleus assays on Hep G2 cells, c) assessed the DNA oxidative stress by the 24h urinary 8 oxo 2' deoxyguanosine (8 oxodG) (Paper III). The tests showed greater genotoxicity in the urine extracts of sewage workers (P<0.001). The 24hr urinary 8 oxodG mean level in sewage workers was higher (nonsignificant, P=0.28) than office workers and its mean values were associated (P=0.04) with working years in sewage system. Workplace air concentrations of PAHs and VOCs were elevated in sewage compared to office workplaces (P<0.01) and resulted in an increased lifetime cancer risk using toxicity equivalent factors and inhalation unit risk of cancer. In conclusion, the applied integrated and non-specific urinary biomarkers show that sewage workers experience exposure to multiple genotoxicants at the workplace. It is not possible to simply link our results with the increased cancer risk in sewage workers.
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Hamzeh Alzabadi. Biomarkers of evaluation of complex environmental exposure : exposure assessment of sewage workers to genotoxicants. Human health and pathology. Université Henri Poincaré - Nancy 1, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010NAN10008⟩. ⟨tel-01777254⟩

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