Mechanisms and mediators in coal dust induced toxicity: a review. (1/268)

Chronic inhalation of coal dust can cause several lung disorders, including simple coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP), progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), chronic bronchitis, lung function loss, and emphysema. This review focuses on the cellular actions and interactions of key inflammatory cells and target cells in coal dust toxicity and related lung disorders, i.e. macrophages and neutrophils, epithelial cells, and fibroblasts. Factors released from or affecting these cells are outlined in separate sections, i.e. (1) reactive oxygen species (ROS) and related antioxidant protection mechanisms, and (2) cytokines, growth factors and related proteins. Furthermore, (3) components of the extracellular matrix (ECM), including the modifying role of ROS, cytokines, proteases and antiproteases are discussed in relation to tissue damage and remodelling in the respiratory tract. It is recognised that inhaled coal dust particles are important non-cellular and cellular sources of ROS in the lung, and may be significantly involved in the damage of lung target cells as well as important macromolecules including alpha-1-antitrypsin and DNA. In vitro and in vivo studies with coal dusts showed the up-regulation of important leukocyte recruiting factors, e.g. Leukotriene-B4 (LTB4), Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 (MCP-1), and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF alpha), as well as the neutrophil adhesion factor Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Coal dust particles are also known to stimulate the (macrophage) production of various factors with potential capacity to modulate lung cells and/or extracellular matrix, including O2-., H2O2, and NO, fibroblast chemoattractants (e.g. Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF beta), PDGF, and fibronectin) and a number of factors that have been shown to stimulate and/or inhibit fibroblast growth or collagen production such as (TNF alpha, TGF beta, PDGF, Insulin Like Growth Factor, and Prostaglandin-E2). Further studies are needed to clarify the in vivo kinetics and relative impact of these factors.  (+info)

Health impacts of domestic coal use in China. (2/268)

Domestic coal combustion has had profound adverse effects on the health of millions of people worldwide. In China alone several hundred million people commonly burn raw coal in unvented stoves that permeate their homes with high levels of toxic metals and organic compounds. At least 3,000 people in Guizhou Province in southwest China are suffering from severe arsenic poisoning. The primary source of the arsenic appears to be consumption of chili peppers dried over fires fueled with high-arsenic coal. Coal samples in the region were found to contain up to 35,000 ppm arsenic. Chili peppers dried over high-arsenic coal fires adsorb 500 ppm arsenic on average. More than 10 million people in Guizhou Province and surrounding areas suffer from dental and skeletal fluorosis. The excess fluorine is caused by eating corn dried over burning briquettes made from high-fluorine coals and high-fluorine clay binders. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formed during coal combustion are believed to cause or contribute to the high incidence of esophageal and lung cancers in parts of China. Domestic coal combustion also has caused selenium poisoning and possibly mercury poisoning. Better knowledge of coal quality parameters may help to reduce some of these health problems. For example, information on concentrations and distributions of potentially toxic elements in coal may help delineate areas of a coal deposit to be avoided. Information on the modes of occurrence of these elements and the textural relations of the minerals and macerals in coal may help predict the behavior of the potentially toxic components during coal combustion.  (+info)

Molecular epidemiological study of non-small-cell lung cancer from an environmentally polluted region of Poland. (3/268)

The p53 mutation spectrum can generate hypotheses linking carcinogen exposure to human cancer. Although it is well-documented that tobacco smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, the contribution of air pollution is less well-established. We determined the molecular and immunohistochemical changes (p53 gene mutations, p53 protein accumulation and WAF1 protein expression) and genetic polymorphisms of GSTM1, CYP1A1 and CYP2D6 genes in a case series of non-small-cell lung cancers from Silesia. This region of southern Poland is highly industrialized with considerable environmental pollution. More than 50% of lung cancers (90/164) contained p53 mutations and 75% showed the combined alteration of the p53 gene and protein accumulation. Males occupationally exposed to coal-derived substances showed a relatively high frequency of squamous and large-cell carcinomas, relatively frequent mutations in codon 298 of p53 and a low frequency of p53 immunohistochemically positive tumours. Codon 298 GAG-->TAG mutations have rarely been found in lung cancers in other populations. We found no correlation between WAF1 protein expression and mutations in the p53 gene or p53 protein accumulation. No statistically significant relationship was found between p53 mutations and GSTM1, CYP1A1, CYP2D6 genotypes. Never smokers with lung cancers from Silesia had a higher frequency of G:C-->T:A transversions than previously reported of the p53 mutation spectrum in never smokers (6/15 vs 4/34; P = 0.06 by chi2). These data are a tentative indication that occupational and environmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzo(a)pyrene, in polluted air contributes to the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer in never smokers.  (+info)

Modulating influence of cytochrome P-450 MspI polymorphism on serum liver function profiles in coke oven workers. (4/268)

OBJECTIVES: It was reported previously that topside oven workers with heavy exposure to coke oven emissions had increased serum activities of hepatic aminotransferase in one coke oven plant. This study was conducted to investigate the modifying effect of CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism on liver function profiles in coke oven workers. METHODS: 88 coke oven workers from a large steel company in Taiwan were studied in 1995-6. Exposure was categorised by work area: topside oven workers and sideoven workers. Liver function profiles including serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), r-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin (BIL) were examined in the morning after personal exposure measurements. The MspI polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). RESULTS: Five of 23 (22%) topside oven workers and seven of 65 (11%) sideoven workers had the CYP1A1 MspI homozygous variant genotype. With sideoven workers with the combined wild type and heterozygous variant as the reference group in multiple regression models, it was found that topside oven workers with the combined traits had mean AST and ALT activities that were 21% and 46% higher (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 4% to 42% and 12% to 91%, respectively) than the reference group after adjusting for appropriate confounders. Also, topside oven workers with the homozygous variant trait had mean AST, ALT, and GGT activities that were 59%, 68%, and 157% higher (95% CI 21% to 109%, 6% to 168%, and 39% to 374%, respectively) than the reference group. The prevalence of an abnormal hepatocellular pattern (AST > 37 IU/l or ALT > 39 IU/l) was more common in the topside oven workers with the homozygous variant than in the sideoven workers with the other combined genotypes (adjusted odds ratio 9.9, 95% CI 1.2 to 82.3) after adjusting for appropriate confounders. CONCLUSIONS: The CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism may modify the biotransformation of coke oven emissions, which results in hepatocellular damage in coke oven workers.  (+info)

Indoor air pollution in developing countries and acute lower respiratory infections in children. (5/268)

BACKGROUND: A critical review was conducted of the quantitative literature linking indoor air pollution from household use of biomass fuels with acute respiratory infections in young children, which is focused on, but not confined to, acute lower respiratory infection and pneumonia in children under two years in less developed countries. Biomass in the form of wood, crop residues, and animal dung is used in more than two fifths of the world's households as the principal fuel. METHODS: Medline and other electronic databases were used, but it was also necessary to secure literature from colleagues in less developed countries where not all publications are yet internationally indexed. RESULTS: The studies of indoor air pollution from household biomass fuels are reasonably consistent and, as a group, show a strong significant increase in risk for exposed young children compared with those living in households using cleaner fuels or being otherwise less exposed. Not all studies were able to adjust for confounders, but most of those that did so found that strong and significant risks remained. CONCLUSIONS: It seems that the relative risks are likely to be significant for the exposures considered here. Since acute lower respiratory infection is the chief cause of death in children in less developed countries, and exacts a larger burden of disease than any other disease category for the world population, even small additional risks due to such a ubiquitous exposure as air pollution have important public health implications. In the case of indoor air pollution in households using biomass fuels, the risks also seem to be fairly strong, presumably because of the high daily concentrations of pollutants found in such settings and the large amount of time young children spend with their mothers doing household cooking. Given the large vulnerable populations at risk, there is an urgent need to conduct randomised trials to increase confidence in the cause-effect relationship, to quantify the risk more precisely, to determine the degree of reduction in exposure required to significantly improve health, and to establish the effectiveness of interventions.  (+info)

Indoor coal combustion emissions, GSTM1 and GSTT1 genotypes, and lung cancer risk: a case-control study in Xuan Wei, China. (6/268)

The lung cancer mortality rate in Xuan Wei County, China is among the highest in the country and has been associated with exposure to indoor smoky coal emissions that contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This risk may be modified by variation in metabolism genes, including GSTM1, which encodes an enzyme known to detoxify polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. To investigate the relationship between GST genotypes and lung cancer risk in Xuan Wei County, we analyzed GSTM1 and GSTT1 genotypes in a population-based case-control study. A total of 122 lung cancer patients and 122 controls, individually matched by age, sex, and home fuel type, were studied. Compared to subjects who used less than 130 tons of smoky coal during their lifetime, heavier users (> or =130 tons) had a 2.4-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.3-4.4) increased risk of lung cancer. The GSTM1-null genotype was associated with a 2.3-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.3-4.2) increased risk of lung cancer. Furthermore, there was some evidence that smoky coal use was more strongly associated with lung cancer risk among GSTM1-null versus GSTM1-positive individuals. In contrast, the GSTT1 genotype was not significantly associated with lung cancer risk. Our data suggest that the GSTM1-null genotype may enhance susceptibility to air pollution from indoor coal combustion emissions.  (+info)

Silicosis and coal workers' pneumoconiosis. (7/268)

Exposure to coal mine dust and/or crystalline silica results in pneumoconiosis with initiation and progression of pulmonary fibrosis. This review presents characteristics of simple and complicated coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) as well as pathologic indices of acute and chronic silicosis by summarizing results of in vitro, animal, and human investigations. These results support four basic mechanisms in the etiology of CWP and silicosis: a) direct cytotoxicity of coal dust or silica, resulting in lung cell damage, release of lipases and proteases, and eventual lung scarring; b) activation of oxidant production by pulmonary phagocytes, which overwhelms the antioxidant defenses and leads to lipid peroxidation, protein nitrosation, cell injury, and lung scarring; c) activation of mediator release from alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells, which leads to recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages, resulting in the production of proinflammatory cytokines and reactive species and in further lung injury and scarring; d) secretion of growth factors from alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells, stimulating fibroblast proliferation and eventual scarring. Results of in vitro and animal studies provide a basis for proposing these mechanisms for the initiation and progression of pneumoconiosis. Data obtained from exposed workers lend support to these mechanisms.  (+info)

Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers and occupational exposure to formaldehyde and various dusts: a case-control study in France. (8/268)

OBJECTIVES: A case-control study was conducted in France to assess possible associations between occupational exposures and squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx and hypopharynx. METHODS: The study was restricted to men, and included 201 hypopharyngeal cancers, 296 laryngeal cancers, and 296 controls (patients with other tumour sites). Detailed information on smoking, alcohol consumption, and lifetime occupational history was collected. Occupational exposure to seven substances (formaldehyde, leather dust, wood dust, flour dust, coal dust, silica dust, and textile dust) was assessed with a job exposure matrix. Exposure variables used in the analysis were probability, duration, and cumulative level of exposure. Odds ratios (ORs) with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated by unconditional logistic regression, and were adjusted for major confounding factors (age, smoking, alcohol, and when relevant other occupational exposures). RESULTS: Hypopharyngeal cancer was found to be associated with exposure to coal dust (OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.21 to 4.40), with a significant rise in risk with probability (p<0.005 for trend) and level (p<0.007 for trend) of exposure. Exposure to coal dust was also associated with an increased risk of laryngeal cancer (OR 1.67, 95% CI 0.92 to 3.02), but no dose-response pattern was found. A significant relation, limited to hypopharyngeal cancer, was found with the probability of exposure to formaldehyde (p<0.005 for trend), with a fourfold risk for the highest category (OR 3.78, 95% CI 1.50 to 9.49). When subjects exposed to formaldehyde with a low probability were excluded, the risk also increased with duration (p<0.04) and cumulative level of exposure (p<0.14). No significant association was found for any other substance. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that exposure to formaldehyde and coal dust may increase the risk of hypopharyngeal cancer.  (+info)