EARTH Thailand

Malondialdehyde-dG Adducts among Workers of a Thai Industrial Estate and Nearby Residents

National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 11 August 2009

Authors: Marco Peluso, Petcharin Srivatanakul, Armelle Munnia, Adisorn Jedpiyawongse, Marcello Ceppi, Suleeporn Sangrajrang, Sara Piro, Paolo Boffetta


Background: Humans living near industrial point emissions can experience high levels of exposures to air pollutants. Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Thailand is the location of the largest steel, oil refinery and petrochemical factory complexes in the South–Eastern Asia. Air pollution is an important source of oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species, which interact with DNA and lipids, leading to oxidative damage and lipid peroxidation, respectively.

Objective: We measured the levels of malondialdehyde-dG adducts, a biomarker of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, in petrochemical workers, nearby residents and subjects living in a control district without proximity to industrial sources. Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study to compare the prevalence of malondialdehyde-dG adducts in groups of subjects experiencing various degrees of air pollution. 

Results: The multivariate regression analysis shows that the adduct levels were associated with occupational and environmental exposures to air pollution. The highest adduct level was observed in the steel factory workers. The formation of DNA damage tended also, but without reaching a statistical significance, to be associated with tobacco smoking. A non-significant increase in DNA adducts was observed after 4-6 years of employment among the petrochemical complexes. 

Conclusions: Air pollution emitted from the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate complexes was associated with increased adduct levels in petrochemical workers and nearby residents. Considering the mutagenic potential of DNA lesions in the carcinogenic process, we would recommend measures aimed at reducing the levels of air pollution. 

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