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Biomarkers of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from environmental air pollution


Metabolites of pyrene and DNA adducts have been used as biomarkers of high level exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A systematic review was performed to evaluate whether these biomarkers are also valid markers of low level environmental exposure to PAHs. Thirty five studies were identified with more than 10 subjects that evaluated environmental air pollution to PAHs in relation to metabolites of PAHs, mainly hydroxypyrene (1-OHP), PAH-DNA adducts, or protein adducts. PAH metabolites and, to a less extent, PAH-DNA adducts correlated well at the group level with exposure to B(a)P even at low levels of air pollution. The use of these biomarkers should be more widely implemented in combination with more traditional techniques for the assessment of general population exposure to PAHs from ambient air pollution.

  • air pollutants
  • benzo(a)pyrene
  • DNA adducts
  • polycyclic hydrocarbons
  • aromatic
  • biomarkers
  • B(a)P, benzo(a)pyrene
  • PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

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