Aluminium production plant workers are exposed to a great number of airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and epidemiological studies suggest that these workers are at increased risk of lung and bladder cancer. Blood samples from 46 workers at 2 primary aluminium plants and from 29 occupationally unexposed control individuals were analysed. DNA was isolated from the peripheral blood lymphocytes and aromatic DNA adducts were detected by 32P-postlabelling assay using the nuclease P1 digestion procedure for the enrichment of the adducts. The total levels of DNA adducts of exposed individuals varied from the detection limit of about 0.5 adducts/108 nucleotides up to 7.1 adducts/108 nucleotides and control adduct levels were up to 2.42 adducts/108 nucleotides. There was no significant difference between the mean adduct levels of the control group and of the individuals of one plant. However, the mean DNA adduct level obtained from workers of the second plant was significantly higher than that of the controls (p < 0.001) and of the first plant (p < 0.01), respectively. This difference can be attributed to differences in the design of technology and different levels of exposure at the 2 plants. The results of this study encourage further investigations of the use of peripheral white blood cells as marker cells and of 32P-postlabelling analysis for monitoring occupational exposure to mixtures of environmental carcinogenic pollutants.
- Aluminium production plant workers
- Aromatic DNA adducts
- Blood lymphocytes
- Human biomonitoring
- Occupational exposure
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
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