Oxidative Stress and Potential Free Radical Damage Associated With Photocopying. A Role for Ozone?

Free Radic Res. 2003 Feb;37(2):137-43. doi: 10.1080/1071576021000036623.


Objective: To study the relationship between oxidative stress and potential free radical damage associated with photocopying and to explore a role for ozone emitted during the photocopying process.

Methods: 80 photocopying operators (PO) and 80 healthy volunteers (HV) were enrolled in a random control study design, in which the level of lipoperoxide (LPO, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) in erythrocytes and the levels of vitamin C (VC), vitamin E (VE) and beta-carotene (beta-CAR) in plasma as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in erythrocytes were determined by spectrophotometric methods.

Results: Compared with the average values of the above biochemical parameters in the HV group, the average value of LPO (TBARS) in erythrocytes in the PO group was significantly increased (P < 0.0001), while the average values of VC, VE and beta-CAR in plasma as well as those of SOD and CAT in erythrocytes in the PO group were significantly decreased (P < 0.0001). Pearson product-moment correlation analysis showed that with the increase of the ozone level in photocopying sites and the PO duration of exposure to ozone, the level of LPO in erythrocytes in the operators was increased (P < 0.001), while the levels of VC, VE and beta-CAR in plasma as well as the activities of SOD and CAT in erythrocytes in the operators were decreased (P < 0.01-0.0001).

Conclusion: The findings in this study suggest that ozone causes oxidative damage in copier operatives.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Catalase / blood
  • Copying Processes*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Free Radicals*
  • Humans
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Lipid Peroxides / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Ozone / adverse effects*
  • Random Allocation
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • beta Carotene / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin E
  • Ozone
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ascorbic Acid