Wood dust is one of the most common occupational exposures, with about 3.6 million of workers in the wood industry in Europe. Wood particles can deposit in the nose and the respiratory tract and cause adverse health effects. Occupational exposure to wood dust has been associated with malignant tumors of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. The induction of oxidative stress and the generation of reactive oxygen species through activation of inflammatory cells could have a role in the carcinogenicity of respirable wood dust. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the prevalence of urinary 15-F2t isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP), a biomarker of oxidative stress and peroxidation of lipids, in 123 wood workers compared to 57 unexposed controls living in Tuscany region, Italy. 15-F2t-IsoP generation was measured by ELISA. The main result of the present study showed that a statistically significant excess of this biomarker occurred in the workers exposed to 1.48 mg/m3 of airborne wood dust with respect to the unexposed controls. The overall mean ratio (MR) between the workers exposed to wood dust and the controls was 1.36, 95% Confidence Interval (C.I.) 1.18-1.57, after correction for age and smoking habits. A significant increment of 15-F2t-IsoP (43%) was observed in the smokers as compared to the non-smokers. The urinary excretion of 15-F2t-IsoP was significantly associated with co-exposure to organic solvents, i.e., MR of 1.41, 95% C.I. 1.17-1.70, after adjustment for age and smoking habits. A 41% excess was observed in long-term wood workers, 95% C.I. 1.14-1.75. Multivariate regression analysis showed that the level of 15-F2t-IsoP was linearly correlated to the length of exposure, regression coefficient (β) = 0.244 ± 0.002 (SE). The overall increment by exposure group persisted after stratification for smoking habits. For instance, in smokers, a 53% excess was detected in the wood workers as compared to the controls, 95% C.I. 1.23-1.91. Our data support the hypothesis that oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation can have a role in the toxicity of wood dust F2-IsoP measure can be a tool for the evaluation of the effectiveness of targeted interventions aimed to reduce exposures to environmental carcinogens.
Keywords: 15-F(2t) isoprostane; Formaldehyde; Occupational health; Organic solvents; Primary prevention; Wood dust.
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