||Health Effects Research Lab., Research Triangle Park, NC. Office of Health Research. ;North Carolina Univ. at Chapel Hill. ;National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Environmental Health Research and Testing, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Institute of Environmental Health and Engineering, Beijing (China).
DNA adducts derived from complex mixtures of polycyclic aromatic compounds emitted from tobacco smoke are compared to industrial pollution sources (e.g., coke ovens and aluminum smelters), smoky coal burning, and urban air pollution. Exposures to coke oven emissions and smoky coal, both potent rodent skin tumor initiators and lung carcinogens in humans, result in high levels of DNA adducts compared to tobacco smoke in the in vitro calf thymus DNA model system, in cultured lymphocytes, and in the mouse skin assay. Using tobacco smoke as a model in human studies, we have compared relative DNA adduct levels detected in blood lymphocytes, placental tissue, bronchoalveolar lung lavage cells, sperm, and autopsy tissues of smokers and nonsmokers. Adduct levels in DNA isolated from smokers were highest in human heart and lung tissue with smaller but detectable differences in placental tissue and lung lavage cells. Comparison of the DNA adduct levels resulting from human exposure to different complex mixtures shows that emissions from coke ovens, aluminum smelters, and smoky coal result in higher DNA adduct levels than tobacco smoke exposure. These studies suggest that humans exposed to complex combustion mixtures will have higher DNA adduct levels in target cells (e.g., lung) as compared to nontarget cells (e.g., lymphocytes) and that the adduct levels will be dependent on the genotoxic and DNA adduct-forming potency of the mixture.