Evaluation of immuno- and reproductive toxicities and association between immunotoxicological and genotoxicological parameters in waste incineration workers

Toxicology. 2005 May 15;210(1):65-80. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2005.01.008.


In this study, we investigated immunotoxicity levels of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in 31 waste incineration workers and in 84 control subjects, and evaluated the association between immunological and genotoxicological parameters. DNA damage in mononuclear and polynuclear lymphocytes, and the level of the urinary metabolites, 1-OHP and 2-naphthol, were evaluated in both waste incineration workers and control subjects. Significant differences were detected in these values between exposed and control groups. Number of sperms was lower in the waste incineration workers than in the control subjects, as was the percentage of motile sperms, but a significant difference existed only in the number of sperms (p=0.05). DNA damage in the spermatozoa of waste incineration workers and control subjects measured 1.40+/-0.08 and 1.26+/-0.03, respectively (p=0.001). Specific surface antigens of peripheral lymphocytes, namely, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, and CD69 were used to measure immune status in waste incineration workers and control subjects. There was no significant difference in T- and B-cell profiles showed between waste incineration workers and control subjects (p=0.684 and 0.157). In addition, the ratio of T helper cells to T cytotoxic cells was also not remarkably different between groups (p=0.174). However, T-cell activation was found to be significantly higher in the waste incineration workers than in the control subjects (p=0.001), although B-cell activation did not exhibit this trend. The levels of two cytokines (IL-4 an INF-gamma) and four immunoglobulins (IgA, IgE, IgG, and IgM) were also measured in the experimental population. All immunoglobulin types were found in lower amounts in the waste incineration workers, but this diaparity was not significant one. In addition, the levels of two cytokines, IL-4 and INF-gamma, were also found to be lower in the waste incineration workers than in the control subjects, and only in IL-4 was a significant difference determined to exist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / metabolism
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / toxicity*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • DNA Damage*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Incineration*
  • Inhalation Exposure*
  • Interleukin-4 / blood
  • Korea
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naphthols / metabolism
  • Naphthols / urine
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / metabolism
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / metabolism
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / toxicity*
  • Pyrenes / analysis
  • Pyrenes / metabolism
  • Smoking
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Naphthols
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Pyrenes
  • Interleukin-4
  • 1-hydroxypyrene
  • 2-naphthol