Oxidative stress and respiratory symptoms due to human exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Kumasi, Ghana
Nakayama, Shouta M.M.
Asante, Kwadwo A.
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Studies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and its metabolites in PM10, soils, rat livers and cattle urine in Kumasi, Ghana, revealed high concentrations and cancer potency. In addition, WHO and IARC have reported an increase in cancer incidence and respiratory diseases in Ghana. Human urine were therefore collected from urban and control sites to: assess the health effects associated with PAHs exposure using malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG); identify any association between OH-PAHs, MDA, 8-OHdG with age and sex; and determine the relationship between PAHs exposure and occurrence of respiratory diseases. From the results, urinary concentrations of the sum of OH-PAHs (∑OHPAHs) were significantly higher from urban sites compared to the control site. Geometric mean concentrations adjusted by specific gravity, GMSG, indicated 2-OHNaphthalene (2-OHNap) (6.01 ± 4.21 ng/mL) as the most abundant OH-PAH, and exposure could be through the use of naphthalene-containing-mothballs in drinking water purification, insect repellent, freshener in clothes and/or “treatment of various ailments”. The study revealed that exposure to naphthalene significantly increases the occurrence of persistent cough (OR = 2.68, CI: 1.43–5.05), persistent headache (OR = 1.82, CI: 1.02–3.26), tachycardia (OR = 3.36, CI: 1.39–8.10) and dyspnea (OR = 3.07, CI: 1.27–7.43) in Kumasi residents. Highest level of urinary 2-OHNap (224 ng/mL) was detected in a female, who reported symptoms of persistent cough, headache, tachycardia, nasal congestion and inflammation, all of which are symptoms of naphthalene exposure according to USEPA. The ∑OHPAHs, 2-OHNap, 2-3-OHFluorenes, and -OHPhenanthrenes showed a significantly positive correlation with MDA and 4-OHPhenanthrene with 8-OHdG, indicating possible lipid peroxidation/cell damage or degenerative disease in some participants. MDA and 8-OHdG were highest in age group 21–60. The present study showed a significant sex difference with higher levels of urinary OH-PAHs in females than males