Lung cell toxicity of co-exposure to airborne particulate matter and extremely low-frequency magnetic field

Xenobiotica. 2022 Apr;52(4):370-379. doi: 10.1080/00498254.2022.2082342. Epub 2022 Jun 3.


Although the toxic effects of urban airborne particulate matter (PM) have been known on lung cells, there is less attention to co-exposure to PM and extremely low frequency magnetic (ELF-MF) in occupational settings. The present study investigated the influences of PM and ELF-MF co-exposure on toxicity in human lung cells (A549).In this case, total PM (TPM) was evaluated according to NIOSH-0500. The TPM SiO2 and metal contents were determined based on NIOSH-7602 and 7302, respectively. Besides, 900 mG ELF-MF exposure was simulated based on field measurements. The toxicity mechanisms were assessed by examining malondialdehyde, glutathione ratio, gene expression, and DNA strand breaks. Also, the toxicity indicators of the TPM samples were MDA generation, glutathione depletion, and DNA damage, and their impacts were analysed at doses below the LD50 (4 µg).In addition, gene expression of OGG1 and MTH1 was upregulated after TPM exposure at the lowest dose (2 µg). But ITPA was upregulated in the presence of ELF-MF. The co-exposure to TPM and ELF-MF decreased oxidative stress and DNA damage levels compared to a single exposure to TPM.Although the ELF-MF reduced toxicity in response to TPM, this reduction was not lower than the unexposed cells.

Keywords: A549 cell line; ELF-MF; gene expression; occupational exposure; total particulate matter; toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Particulate Matter* / toxicity
  • Silicon Dioxide*


  • Particulate Matter
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Glutathione