JOURNAL ARTICLE

Co-exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene and toluene and their dose-effects on oxidative stress damage in kindergarten-aged children in Guangzhou, China

Junnan Li, Shaoyou Lu, Guihua Liu, Yuanxiu Zhou, Yanshan Lv, Jianwen She, Ruifang Fan
Science of the Total Environment 2015 August 15, 524-525: 74-80
25889546
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene and toluene (BT) are ubiquitous toxic pollutants in the environment. Children are sensitive and susceptible to exposure to these contaminants. To investigate the potential oxidative DNA damage from the co-exposure of PAHs and BT in children, 87 children (aged 3-6) from a kindergarten in Guangzhou, China, were recruited. Ten urinary PAHs and four BT metabolites, as well as 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage)in urine, were determined using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometer. The results demonstrated that the levels of PAHs and BT in children from Guangzhou were 2-30 times higher than those in children from the other countries based on a comparison with recent data from the literature. In particular, the difference is more substantial for pyrene and volatile BT. Co-exposure to PAHs and BT could lead to additive oxidative DNA damage. Significant dose-effects were observed between the sum concentration of urinary monohydroxylated metabolites of PAHs (∑OH-PAHs), the sum concentration of the metabolites of BT (∑BT) and 8-OHdG levels. Every one percent increase in urinary PAHs and BT generated 0.33% and 0.02% increases in urinary 8-OHdG, respectively. We also determined that the urinary levels of PAHs and BT were negatively associated with the age of the children. Moreover, significant differences in the levels of ∑OH-PAHs and ∑BT were determined between 3- and 6-year-old children (p<0.05), which may be caused by different metabolism capabilities or inhalation frequencies. In conclusion, exposure to PAHs or BT could lead to oxidative DNA damage, and 8-OHdG is a good biomarker for indicating the presence of DNA damage. There exists a significant dose-effect relationship between PAH exposure, BT exposure and the concentration of 8-OHdG in urine. Toddlers (3-4 years old) face a higher burden of PAH and BT exposure compared with older children.

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