Markers of nucleic acids and proteins oxidation among office workers exposed to air pollutants including (nano)TiO2 particles.

OBJECTIVES: Experimental studies using nanoscale TiO2 have documented lung injury, inflammation, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity. Human health data are extremely scarce.

METHODS: In exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and urine of 22 office employees occupationally exposed to TiO2 during their visit in the production workshops for average 14±9 min/day a panel of biomarkers of nucleic acids and proteins oxidation was studied, specifically 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHG), 5-hydroxymethyl uracil (5-OHMeU), o-tyrosine (o-Tyr), 3-chlorotyrosine (3-ClTyr), and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NOTyr). Examination was performed also in 14 comparable controls.

RESULTS: The median respirable TiO2 mass concentration in the workshops was 0.40 mg/m3, median number concentration was 2.32×104 particles/cm3 with 80% of the particles being
CONCLUSION: This pilot study suggests that even short nanoTiO2 exposure may lead to pulmonary oxidative stress; however this effect may be short-term and reversible. The clinical significance of these findings is unclear and more studies are needed.

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