Induction of DNA adducts in vivo in rat lung cells by fume condensates of roofing asphalt

Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 1998;18(3):131-40.


Many workers in the highway construction and roofing industries are potentially exposed to asphalt fumes. However, little is known regarding the carcinogenic hazards of these fumes to the exposed workers. Previous studies have shown that condensates of asphalt fumes are weakly mutagenic to bacteria and are capable of inducing micronucleus formation in cultured mammalian cells. In this study, the induction of DNA adducts in vivo in lung and white blood cells (WBCs) of rats by fume condensates of type I and type III roofing asphalts was investigated using 32P-postlabeling analysis. Male CD rats (3/group) received 3 intratracheal instillations of fume condensates in a 24-h period. DNA from both lung cells and WBCs were isolated and used to detect DNA adducts. Condensates of both roofing asphalt fumes caused DNA adduct formation in rat lung cells in a similar dose-related manner. Under the conditions studied, however, neither type I nor type III fume condensate induced DNA adducts in WBCs. These results indicate that 1) condensates of fumes from both type I and type III have similar genotoxic activity, 2) chemicals in the condensates of roofing asphalt fumes can covalently bind to the DNA of rat lung cells, and 3) WBCs may not be a suitable surrogate for lung cells in DNA adduct studies of workers exposed to roofing asphalt fumes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / toxicity
  • Construction Materials / toxicity*
  • DNA Adducts / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / toxicity*
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Leukocytes / pathology*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes
  • Radioisotope Dilution Technique
  • Rats


  • DNA Adducts
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • asphalt