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(Prague)BIOMARKERS of Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the Czech Republic

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Abstract: The use of biomarkers in the Teplice Program, provided a key tool to relate health outcomes to individual personal exposures and to provide measures of confounding exposures. This research program on the health effects of air pollution studied a population living in the heavily industrialized district of Teplice in North Bohemia and compared the exposure and health of this population to that of a non-industrialized district, Prachatice, in Southern Bohemia. The studies included characterization of the environmental and personal air pollution exposure, biomarkers, and studies on reproductive, respiratory, and neurobehavioral effects. Biomarkers were measured in blood, urine, placenta, and sperm. The biomarkers included measures of exposure (e.g., urine metabolites and blood metals), dose (e.g., DNA adducts), DNA damage, genetic and cytogenetic effects, and susceptibility. During winter temperature inversions, unusually high concentrations of a complex mixture of air pollutants were measured, including fine particles, genotoxic organic compounds, and toxic trace elements. This population, however, was also exposed to multiple pollutants via all pathways, and including pollutants resulting from environmental exposures, occupational exposures, and personal habits (e.g., tobacco and alcohol use). Longitudinal and repeated measures used individuals as their own control to examine the influence of environmental exposures as they changed over time and season. Chronic and seasonal exposures to elevated air pollution in the Teplice District were shown to have serious adverse respiratory health consequences for children and reproductive effects in adults. Elevated levels of air pollutants, even for short-term winter inversions resulted in measurable uptake, metabolism, and excretion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, increased blood concentrations of toxic metals, and resulted in DNA damage. Results of the exposure, biomarker, and health studies indicated that environmental exposure to a complex mixture of air pollutants resulted in significant elevations in personal exposure, uptake, excretion of pollutants and DNA damage.

This paper has been reviewed in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency's peer and administrative review policies and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
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Citation:Lewtas, J., B. Binkova, I. Miskova, P. Subrt, and J. Lenicek. (Prague)BIOMARKERS of Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the Czech Republic. Presented at Proceedings of Workshop on Advances in Human Research, Prague, Czech Republic, March 14-23, 2003EPA/600/A-01/009 (NTIS PB2001-103694).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Immediate Office
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Product Type: Sympos/Conf
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Presented: 03/14/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Biomarkers of PM Exposure to Combustion Source Emissions & Organic (Toxic) Components
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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