Chemical research in toxicology

Reference particles for toxicological studies of wood combustion: formation, characteristics, and toxicity compared to those of real wood combustion particulate mass.

PMID 25063562


Multiple studies show that particulate mass (PM) generated from incomplete wood combustion may induce adverse health issues in humans. Previous findings have shown that also the PM from efficient wood combustion may induce enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inflammation, and cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Underlying factors of these effects may be traced back to volatile inorganic transition metals, especially zinc, which can be enriched in the ultrafine fraction of biomass combustion particulate emission. In this study, nanoparticles composed of potassium, sulfur, and zinc, which are the major components forming inorganic fine PM, were synthesized and tested in vitro. In addition, in vitro toxicity of PM from efficient combustion of wood chips was compared with that of the synthesized particles. Cytotoxicity, cell cycle arrest, ROS generation, and tumor necrosis factor alpha release were related to zinc concentration in PM. Potassium sulfate and potassium carbonate did not induce toxic responses. In light of the provided data, it can be concluded that zinc, enriched in wood combustion emissions, caused the toxicity in all of the measured end points.

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