Objectives: Coke oven emissions (COEs) containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can induce both benzo[a]pyrene-r-7, t-8, t-8,c-10-tetrahydotetrol-albumin (BPDE-Alb) adducts and DNA damage. However, the relationship between these biomarkers for early biological effects is not well documented in coke oven workers. Methods: In this study, we recruited 207 male workers exposed to COEs and 102 controls not exposed to COEs in the same steel plant in northern China. We measured BPDE-Alb adduct concentrations in plasma with reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes with alkaline comet assay. Results: Our results showed that the median concentration of BPDE-Alb adducts in exposed group (34.36 fmol/mg albumin) was significantly higher than that in control group (21.90 fmol/mg albumin, P=0.012). The mean Olive tail moment (Olive TM) of DNA damage in exposed and control groups were 1.20 and 0.63, respectively (P=0.000). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the odds ratio (OR) for BPDE-Alb adduct and Olive TM associated with the exposure were 1.72 [95% confidence interval (CI) =1.06-2.81] and 1.96 (95%=1.20-3.19), respectively. Our results showed that there were significant correlations between the concentrations of BPDE-Alb adduct and Olive TM levels in exposed group (rs=0.235, P=0.001) but not in control group (rs=0.093, P=0.353). Conclusion: Our results suggested that occupational exposure to COEs may induce both BPDE-Alb adducts and DNA damage in lymphocytes of the coke oven worker and that these two markers are useful for monitoring exposure to COEs at work place.
- DNA damage
- albumin adduct
- coke oven emissions
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