Declining Pulmonary Function in Populations with Long-term Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons-Enriched PM2.5

This study assesses the effects of long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants on inflammatory response and lung function. 390 male coke oven workers with exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were selected and 115 control workers. The average duration in the exposed group was 9.10 years. The total amount of PAHs was more enriched in PM2.5 which collected from the coke oven workshops compared with the control areas. Correspondingly, the internal PAHs exposure indicated by urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) in the exposure group increased 25.7-fold compared to that of the control group. Moreover, the increasing level of urinary 1-OHP was associated with the decrease of forced expiratory volume in 1 s to forced vital capacity ratio (FEV1/FVC). In non-current smokers of exposure group, inverse correlation of 1-OHP with FEV1/FVC was also found. Particularly, an exposure duration-dependent decline in FEV1/FVC and mean forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of forced vital capacity (FEF25-75%) indicated that small airways were functionally obstructed. Furthermore, the increasing serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was correlated with the decline in pulmonary function in all subjects. These findings provide a clue that long-term exposure to PAHs-enriched PM2.5 impairs pulmonary function in occupational population.

Authors: Shen M, Xing J, Ji Q, Li Z, Wang Y, Zhao H, Wang Q, Wang T, Yu L, Zhang X, Sun Y, Zhang Z, Niu Y, Wang H, Chen W, Dai Y, Su W, Duan H. ; Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology. 2018 May 9. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00686. [Epub ahead of print]

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