Industrial health

Exposure to hexavalent chromium does not increase 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels in Korean chromate pigment workers.

PMID 10441906


This study was performed to determine whether chromium exposure increased 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels in respiratory epithelial and white blood cells of chromate pigment workers. The subjects of this study were 22 chromium pigment workers and 16 controls in a chromate pigments factory. To estimate the level of exposure, hexavalent chromium concentrations in the factory air were measured. Chrominum concentrations of venous blood and spot urine, and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels in DNA extracted from sputum and white blood cells were determined. Correlation coefficients were calculated between them and their statistical significance was tested. Hexavalent chromium concentration in the factory air ranged from below limit of detection to 0.5150 mg/m3. Chromium levels in blood and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels in DNA extracted from venous blood and sputum were not statistically different between the two groups. Urine chromium level was significantly higher among workers. Among the correlation coefficients between blood chromium concentration, urine chromium concentration, blood 8-OH-dG level, and sputum 8-OH-dG level, none was statistically significant for workers, controls, and total subjects. Duration of employment did not show any significant correlation with those four variables, either. These results suggest that neither the hydroxyl radical nor 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine is formed by the reduction of hexavalent chromium, or that one or both of these is formed and then effectively removed by oxygen free radical scavengers or 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine repair enzymes. Since increased exposure to hexavalent chromium did not result in increased 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels, it is unlikely that hexavalent chromium induces lung cancer through 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine formation.