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Title: Potential health effects of exposure to carcinogenic compounds in incense smoke in temple workers
Authors: Panida Navasumrit
Manasawee Arayasiri
Ohmar May Tin Hiang
Manoon Leechawengwongs
Jeerawan Promvijit
Suppachai Choonvisase
Samroeng Chantchaemsai
Netnapa Nakngam
Chulabhorn Mahidol
Mathuros Ruchirawat
Chulabhorn Research Institute
Vichaiyut Hospital
Mahidol University
Keywords: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
Issue Date: 9-May-2008
Citation: Chemico-Biological Interactions. Vol.173, No.1 (2008), 19-31
Abstract: Incense smoke is a potential hazard to human health due to various airborne carcinogens emitted from incense burning. This study aimed to evaluate the potential health effects of exposure to benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) emitted from incense smoke in temple workers. Exposure and health risks were assessed through the measurement of ambient exposure as well as through the use of biomarkers of exposure and early biological effects. Ambient air measurement showed that incense burning generates significantly higher levels of airborne benzene (P < 0.01), 1,3-butadiene (P < 0.001) and total PAHs (P < 0.01) inside the temples, compared to those of the control workplace. Temple workers were exposed to relatively high levels of benzene (45.90 μg/m3) 1,3-butadiene (11.29 μg/m3) and PAHs (19.56 ng/m3), which were significantly higher than those of control workers (P < 0.001). The most abundant PAHs were chrysene, B[ghi]P, B[a]P, B[a]F and fluoranthene. Concentrations of B[a]P and B[a]P equivalents in air samples to which temple workers were exposed were 63- and 16-fold, higher, respectively, than those to which control subjects were exposed (P < 0.001). Biomarkers of exposure to benzene (blood benzene and the urinary metabolites trans,trans-muconic acid and S-phenylmercapturic acid), 1,3-butadiene (urinary monohydroxy-butenyl mercapturic acid) and PAHs (1-hydroxypyrene) were all significantly higher in temple workers than those in control workers. DNA damage and DNA repair capacity were measured as biomarkers of early biological effects. Temple workers had a significant increase in DNA damage observed as a 2-fold increase in the levels of leukocyte 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxguanosine (8-OHdG) and DNA strand breaks (P < 0.001). A significant reduction of DNA repair capacity in temple workers determined by the radiation challenge assay was also observed. These results indicate that exposure to carcinogens emitted from incense burning may increase health risk for the development of cancer in temple workers. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 00092797
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2006-2010

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