Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts among rickshaw drivers in Dhaka City, Bangladesh

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2003 Sep;76(7):533-8. doi: 10.1007/s00420-003-0431-z. Epub 2003 Jun 21.


This paper describes findings from a recently completed study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure among city dwellers of Dhaka, Bangladesh. We measured PAH-DNA adducts in white blood cells (WBCs) as a marker of environmental and occupational PAH exposure in 46 rickshaw drivers (who pedal commercial unshielded three-wheelers for passenger transport) and 48 non-rickshaw drivers (comparison group) in Dhaka city. We performed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to quantify immunologically the WBC PAH-DNA adducts. Rickshaw drivers had a significantly higher WBC PAH-DNA adducts level than the non-rickshaw drivers. Among rickshaw drivers, adduct levels tended to be positively associated with the duration of residence in the city and cigarette smoking. No such trends were observed among non-rickshaw drivers. In conclusion, the results suggest that urban residents who are occupationally exposed to traffic pollution in Dhaka are at potentially higher risk of health effects from exposure to carcinogenic PAH compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bangladesh
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Adducts / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Smoking
  • Transportation


  • DNA Adducts
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons-DNA adduct