Biomonitoring of Amino-PAHs, Cotinine, and PAH-hemoglobin Adducts in Human Specimens

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats



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.





Yan, Peijia (2018). Biomonitoring of Amino-PAHs, Cotinine, and PAH-hemoglobin Adducts in Human Specimens. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.