Particle and metal exposure in Parisian subway: Relationship between exposure biomarkers in air, exhaled breath condensate, and urine.


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Particle and metal exposure in Parisian subway: Relationship between exposure biomarkers in air, exhaled breath condensate, and urine.
International journal of hygiene and environmental health
Guseva Canu I., Crézé C., Hemmendinger M., Ben Rayana T., Besançon S., Jouannique V., Debatisse A., Wild P., Sauvain J.J., Suárez G., Hopf N.B.
1618-131X (Electronic)
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Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Subway particulate toxicity results from in vitro and in vivo studies diverge and call for applied human research on outcomes from chronic exposures and potential exposure biomarkers. We aimed to (1) quantify airborne particulate matter (PM) concentrations (mass and number) and metal concentrations in exhaled breath condensate (EBC), urine, and PM; (2) investigate their associations (EBC vs. PM vs. urine); and (3) assess the relevance of EBC in biomonitoring. Nine subway workers in three jobs: station agents, locomotive operators and security guards were monitored during their 6-h shifts over two consecutive weeks. Six-hour weighed average mass concentrations expressed as PM10, PM2.5 and their metal concentrations were determined. Urine and EBC samples were collected pre- and post-shift. Ultrafine particle (UFP) number concentrations were quantified in PM and EBC samples. Metal concentrations in urine and EBC were standardized by creatinine and EBC volume, respectively, and log-transformed. Associations were investigated using Pearson correlation and linear mixed regression models, with participant's ID as random effect. PM concentrations were below occupational exposure limits (OEL) and varied significantly between jobs. Locomotive operators had the highest exposure (189 and 137 μg/m <sup>3</sup> for PM10 and PM2.5, respectively), while station agents had the highest UFP exposure (1.97 × 10 <sup>4</sup> particles/cm <sup>3</sup> ). Five metals (Al, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn) in PM2.5 and three (Al, Fe, and Zn) in PM10 were above the limit of quantification (LOQ). Fe, Cu, Al and Zn were the most abundant by mass fraction in PM. In EBC, the metal concentrations in decreasing order were: Zn > Cu > Ni > Ba > Mn. Security guards had the highest EBC metal concentrations, and in particular Zn and Cu. Urinary metal concentrations in decreasing order were: Si > Zn > Mo > Ti > Cu > Ba ≈ Ni > Co. All urinary metal concentrations from the subway workers were similar to concentrations found in the general population. A statistically significant relationship was found for ultrafine particle number concentrations in PM and in EBC. Zn and Cu concentrations in post-shift EBC were associated with Zn and Cu concentrations in PM10 and with post-shift urinary Zn and Cu concentrations. Therefore, EBC appears a relevant matrix for assessing exposure to UFP in human biomonitoring when inhalation is a primary route of exposure. We found different temporal variation patterns between particle and metal exposures in three matrices (PM, urine, EBC) quantified daily over two full weeks in subway workers. These patterns might be related to metal oxidation, particulates' solubility and size as well as their lung absorption capabilities, which need to be further explored in toxicological research. Further research should also focus on understanding possible influences of low chronic exposures to subway particulates on health in larger cohorts.
Biomonitoring, Gravimetric method, Indoor air pollution, Occupational exposure, Particle number concentration, Particle size
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Create date
04/10/2021 12:36
Last modification date
08/10/2021 5:41
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