||Diesel exhaust is a large source of outdoor air pollution in urban area, while smoking
is an important contributor to indoor air pollution in our daily life. Exposure to
these complex mixtures may lead to many adverse health effects such as cardiovascular
diseases, respiratory diseases, and even several types of cancer. Especially, polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs)
are byproducts of incomplete combustion and are generated from diesel combustion process
and from tobacco smoking. Amino-PAHs are metabolites of nitro-PAHs and have been suggested
as traffic-related exposure biomarkers.
The first and largest aim for this Master’s Project was to learn analytical chemistry
methods to measure different biomarkers in human specimens. Firstly, cotinine and
five types of amino-PAHs were measured as biomarkers of smoking and diesel exhaust
exposure, respectively, in both types of samples. Then, as a proven mechanism for
many air pollution associated health effects, oxidative stress was measured using
urinary malondialdehyde (MDA), a well-established biomarker of lipid peroxidation
by reactive oxygen species.
The second aim for this project was to examine the relationship among different biomarkers.
Especially, I focused on the relationship between nitro-PAHs exposure and oxidative
stress, and the relationship between tobacco smoke exposure and oxidative stress.