Journal Article

Increased health risk in Bangkok children exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from traffic-related sources

Jantamas Tuntawiroon, Chulabhorn Mahidol, Panida Navasumrit, Herman Autrup and Mathuros Ruchirawat

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 28, issue 4, pages 816-822
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgl175
Increased health risk in Bangkok children exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from traffic-related sources

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The aim of this study is to assess potential health risk of exposure to particle-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in children living in a megacity with traffic congestion such as Bangkok. The study population comprised 184 Thai schoolboys (aged 8–13 years) attending schools adjacent to high-density traffic areas in Bangkok and schools located in the provincial area of Chonburi. The ambient concentration of total PAHs at roadsides in proximity to the Bangkok schools was 30-fold greater than at roadsides in proximity to the provincial schools (30.39 ± 5.80 versus 1.50 ± 0.28 ng/m3; P < 0.001). Benzo(g,h,i)perylene (BghiP), an indicator of automobile exhaust emission, was the predominant PAH. Personal exposure to total PAHs and the corresponding benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) equivalent concentrations in Bangkok schoolchildren were 3.5-fold higher than in provincial schoolchildren (4.13 ± 0.21 versus 1.18 ± 0.09 ng/m3; P < 0.001 and 1.50 ± 0.12 versus 0.43 ± 0.05 ng/m3; P < 0.001, respectively). The concentration of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HOP) was significantly higher in Bangkok schoolchildren. Bulky carcinogen–DNA adduct levels in peripheral lymphocytes were also significantly higher (0.45 ± 0.03 versus 0.09 ± 0.00 adducts/108 nt; P < 0.001). Finally, a significantly higher level of DNA strand breaks and a significantly lower level of DNA repair capacity were observed in Bangkok schoolchildren (P < 0.001). This study indicates that Bangkok schoolchildren exposed to a high level of genotoxic PAHs in ambient air may be more vulnerable to the health impacts associated with the exposure to genotoxic pollutants than children in provincial areas and may have increased health risks for the development of certain diseases such as cancer.

Journal Article.  6332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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