Genotoxic effect of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in asphalt workers


Asphalt workers are at risk due to exposure to asphalt fumes containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The main purpose of this study was to measure the urinary metabolite of PAHs and to determine its effect on micronucleus (MN) formation as an indicator of genotoxic damage. In this cross-sectional study, the MN frequency in 48 male asphalt workers exposed to PAHs was measured and compared with 48 male non-exposed employees. PAHs exposure was evaluated by determining urinary 1-Hydroxypyrene (1-OHP). The mean concentrations of 1-OHP in the exposed and non-exposed groups were 0.58 ± 0.41 μmol/mol creatinine and 0.38 ± 0.25 μmol/mol creatinine, respectively. 1-OHP concentration was significantly higher in smokers compared with non-smokers in both exposed and non-exposed groups. Moreover, the mean MN frequency in the exposed group was significantly higher than in the non-exposed group. The MN frequency was significantly higher in asphalt workers with a work history of ≥ 15 years compared to workers with lower work history. In a fully adjusted model, there was a statistically significant association between exposure to PAHs, with MN and 1-OHP concentration, and between smoking status with 1-OHP. The findings of the present study indicated that occupational exposure to PAHs was associated with increased urinary 1-OHP as well as DNA damage in the asphalt workers.

Authors: Fatemeh Kargar-Shouroki, Mohammad Miri, Mohammad Javad Zare Sakhvidi, Seyedeh Zahra Hosseini Sangchi, Farzan Madadizadeh
; Full Source: EXCLI journal 2021 Mar 16;20:686-697. doi: 10.17179/excli2021-3487.