Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure and DNA oxidative damage of workers in workshops of a petrochemical group


The petrochemical industry has promoted the development of economy, while polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) produced by the industry become the threat for environment and humans. Data on human occupational exposure in petrochemical industry are limited. In the present study, urinary hydroxylated PAH metabolites (OH-PAHs) and a biomarker of DNA oxidative damage (8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)) were measured in 546 workers of a petrochemical group in Northeast China, to investigate PAH exposure and related potential health risk. The concentrations of ∑9OH-PAH in all workers were 0.25-175 μg/g Cre with a median value of 4.41 μg/g Cre. Metabolites of naphthalene were the predominant compounds. The levels of PAH metabolites were significantly different for workers with different jobs, which were the highest for recycling workers (13.7 μg/g Cre) and the lowest for agency managers (5.12 μg/g Cre). Besides, higher levels of OH-PAHs were usually found in males and older workers. There was a dose-response relationship between levels of 8-OHdG and ∑9OH-PAHs (p < 0.01). No difference was observed in concentrations of 8-OHdG for workers of different gender or ages, work history as well as noise. Furthermore, workers simultaneously exposed to other potential pollutants and higher levels of ∑9OH-PAH had significantly higher levels of 8-OHdG compared with those in the corresponding subgroups. Our results suggested that exposure to PAHs or co-exposure to PAHs and potential toxics in the petrochemical plant may cause DNA damage. We call for more researches on the associations among noise, chemical pollution and oxidative stress to workers in the real working environment.

Authors: Xiao-Ya Lin, Yan-Xiang Liu, Ying-Jie Zhang, Hui-Min Shen, Ying Guo
; Full Source: Chemosphere 2022 May 29;303(Pt 2):135076. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.135076.