Lung epithelium injury biomarkers in workers exposed to sulphur dioxide in a non-ferrous smelter

Biomarkers. 2009 Aug;14(5):292-8. doi: 10.1080/13547500902989088.


Serum Clara cell protein (CC16) and surfactant-associated protein D (SP-D) were measured in 161 workers exposed to sulphur dioxide (SO(2)) in a non-ferrous smelter. Seventy workers from a blanket manufacture served as referents. Exposure to SO(2) and tobacco smoking were associated with a decrease of CC16 and an increase of SP-D in serum. Tobacco smoking and exposure SO(2) interacted synergistically to decrease serum CC16 but not to increase serum SP-D. While further illustrating the potential of serum CC16 and SP-D, our study confirms that SO(2) can cause airways damage at exposure levels below current occupational exposure limits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Dust*
  • Epithelium / injuries
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure*
  • Lung Injury / blood*
  • Lung Injury / chemically induced
  • Lung Injury / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D / blood*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Sulfur Dioxide / toxicity*
  • Uteroglobin / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Dust
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein D
  • SCGB1A1 protein, human
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Uteroglobin