The effect of occupational exposure on pro/antioxidant balance in the blood of non-smoking and smoking smelters with diabetes

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Jun;44:99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2016.04.015. Epub 2016 Apr 27.


Arsenic, lead and cadmium, potent environmental toxicants have been reported to induce diabetes mellitus, but their potential biological mechanism(s) have not been much investigated. The present study was designed to correlate parameters of pro/antioxidant balance with occupational exposure on heavy metals and smoking in smelters with diabetes compared on control group. The results showed a significant increase in the concentration of arsenic, cadmium and lead in the blood and urine of smelters, while smoking caused a further increase in the concentration of these metals. Increasing γ-glutamyltransferase activity and lead concentration due to occupational exposure in copper foundry, tobacco smoke and co-existing diabetes were observed. Also these factors have synergistic effects on metallothionein and glutathione concentrations as well as glutathione dependent enzymes activities. Our data suggests that sub-chronic arsenic, lead and cadmium exposure induces diabetic condition which may be mediated due to increased oxidative stress in blood.

Keywords: Diabetes; Occupational exposure; Pro/antioxidant balance; Smelters; Smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / blood
  • Air Pollutants / urine
  • Arsenic / urine
  • Cadmium / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / urine
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Glutathione Transferase / blood
  • Humans
  • Lead / blood
  • Male
  • Metallothionein / blood
  • Metallurgy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Smoking / blood*
  • Smoking / urine
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Young Adult
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood


  • Air Pollutants
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Metallothionein
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutathione
  • Arsenic