Author(s): Mumford JL, Li X, Hu F, Lu XB, Chuang JC
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Abstract The lung cancer mortality rate in Xuan Wei (XW) county, China, is 5-fold the national average of China; the rate for women is the highest in China. Xuan Wei residents have been exposed to unvented coal or wood smoke during cooking or heating in homes. This study investigated indoor air exposure and dosimetry of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in XW residents using smoky coal. Indoor air particles collected during cooking in four XW homes using smoky coal were analyzed for PAHs by GC/MS. Urine samples from 16 XW non-smoking women and six XW smoking men, eight Kunming non-smoking controls and four non-smoking Chinese American controls were analyzed for PAHs and hydroxy-PAHs by GC/MS. The results showed that XW residents were exposed to PAHs at occupational levels. The potent carcinogen, dibenzo[a,l] pyrene (4.9 +/- 1.3 micrograms/m3) was found in the indoor air of the XW homes. The levels of urinary hydroxy-PAH were higher than those of the parent compounds in most subjects, indicating that most PAHs were metabolized. In urine, the mean levels of 9-hydroxy BaP (BaP) and BaP are 1.5 +/- 0.5 mumol/mol creatinine and 0.5 +/- 0.3 microns/mol for XW men, 1.9 +/- 0.9 microns/mol and 0.5 +/- 0.3 microns/mol for XW women. In general, the levels of PAH metabolites in urine were higher in the XW residents than in Kunming and Chinese American controls; however only the concentrations of 9-hydroxy BaP in XW women showed statistically significant difference from the Kunming controls (P < 0.05 by ranking test). The mean levels of 3 methylated-PAHs analyzed were 4.8-fold higher than that of the parent PAHs in XW subjects. This is consistent with previous findings that alkylated PAHs are the major mutagens in the XW indoor air and may be etiologically important in XW lung cancer.
This article was published in Carcinogenesis
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation