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Markers of oxidative damage of nucleic acids and proteins among workers exposed to TiO2 (nano)particles
  1. D Pelclova1,
  2. V Zdimal2,
  3. Z Fenclova1,
  4. S Vlckova1,
  5. F Turci3,
  6. I Corazzari3,
  7. P Kacer4,
  8. J Schwarz2,
  9. N Zikova,
  10. O Makes2,2,
  11. K Syslova4,
  12. M Komarc5,6,
  13. J Belacek5,
  14. T Navratil7,8,
  15. M Machajova9,
  16. S Zakharov1
  1. 1First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  2. 2Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the AS CR, vvi, Prague, Czech Republic
  3. 3Interdepartmental Centre “G Scansetti” for Studies on Asbestos and Other Toxic Particulates and NIS Interdepartmental Centre for Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
  4. 4Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic
  5. 5First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Institute of Biophysics and Informatics, Prague, Czech Republic
  6. 6Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Department of Kinanthropology and Humanities, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  7. 7J Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the AS CR, vvi, Prague, Czech Republic
  8. 8First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, Prague, Czech Republic
  9. 9Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Work, Department of Public Health, Trnava University, Trnava, Slovakia
  1. Correspondence to Dr D Pelclova, First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Na Bojisti 1, Prague 120 00, Czech Republic; daniela{at}pelclova.cz

Abstract

Objective The use of nanotechnology is growing enormously and occupational physicians have an increasing interest in evaluating potential hazards and finding biomarkers of effect in workers exposed to nanoparticles.

Methods A study was carried out with 36 workers exposed to (nano)TiO2 pigment and 45 controls. Condensate (EBC) titanium and markers of oxidation of nucleic acids (including 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHG), 5-hydroxymethyl uracil (5-OHMeU)) and proteins (such as o-tyrosine (o-Tyr), 3-chlorotyrosine (3-ClTyr) and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NOTyr)) were analysed from samples of their exhaled breath.

Results In the production workshops, the median total mass 2012 and 2013 TiO2 concentrations were 0.65 and 0.40 mg/m3, respectively. The median numbers of concentrations measured by the scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) were 1.98×104 and 2.32×104 particles/cm3, respectively; and about 80% of those particles were smaller than 100 nm in diameter. In the research workspace, lower aerosol concentrations (0.16 mg/m3 and 1.32×104 particles/cm3) were found. Titanium in the EBC was significantly higher in production workers (p<0.001) than in research workers and unexposed controls. Accordingly, most EBC oxidative stress markers, including in the preshift samples, were higher in production workers than in the two other groups. Multiple regression analysis confirmed an association between the production of TiO2 and the levels of studied biomarkers.

Conclusions The concentration of titanium in EBC may serve as a direct exposure marker in workers producing TiO2 pigment; the markers of oxidative stress reflect the local biological effect of (nano)TiO2 in the respiratory tract of the exposed workers.

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