Environmental science and pollution research international

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure and oxidative stress for a rural population from the North China Plain.

PMID 25015715


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) belong to a class of ubiquitous pollutants and are possibly associated with adverse health effects. In this study, we aimed to assess PAH exposure by measuring the hydroxylated metabolites (hydroxy-PAHs) in urine samples of a rural population from the North China Plain and to explore the possible associations between PAH exposure and oxidative stress indicated by urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). High levels of urinary hydroxy-PAHs were observed, with the geometric mean concentrations of 0.57, 2.2, 5.0, 7.0, and 16.6 μg g−1 creatinine for 1-hydroxypyrene, hydroxyphenanthrenes, hydroxyfluorenes, hydroxybiphenyls, and hydroxynaphthalenes, respectively. Particularly in the winter season, the exposures were 2.3–6.0-fold of those in the spring. Corresponding to PAH exposure, levels of urinary MDA were positively associated with hydroxy-PAHs after controlling for confounders in the linear regression models (p < 0.05). An estimation indicated 21.3–39.3 % increment of urinary MDA per one-fold increase of hydroxy-PAHs. In contrast, no significant correlation was found between urinary 8-OHdG and hydroxy-PAHs; alternatively, living at the e-waste recycling site was found a significant factor on this oxidative DNA damage. These results provide evidence on high PAH exposure and the induction of oxidative stress on lipid peroxidation for this rural population.