Background: Chronic exposure to cement dust has been reported to lead to several health problems. Acute and chronic exposure to quartz are associated with the provocation of an inflammatory response and triggers an extensive host defense mechanism. These inflammatory reactions result in the secretions of cytokines, eicosanoids, lytic enzymes, chemotactic factors and reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study was designed to investigate the plasma oxidant and antioxidant status in cement plant workers.
Methods: Forty-eight non-smoker volunteer male cement plant workers and 28 non-smoker volunteer office male workers (control) aged between 27 and 56 were recruited. The concentrations of plasma malondialdehyde (p-MDA), and the erythrocyte glutathione (GSH) were measured in both groups. Pulmonary function tests, and exposed free silica fractions were also measured in different working places.
Results: Plasma MDA levels were found to be increased, while erythrocyte GSH levels to be decreased in cement workers (p < 0.001). Although no statistically significance was observed, pulmonary function tests were found to be decreased in cement workers. A negative correlation was observed between MDA levels and FEV1 and FEV1% levels. Although no statistically significant difference was found, MDA levels were found to be increased and GSH levels decreased in the working areas where silisium dioxide concentrations were found to be higher.
Conclusions: In conclusion, the results presented in this study show that direct measurement of plasma MDA and erythrocyte GSH could be accepted as an indicator of oxidative injury in workers exposed to cement dust.