Association of long term exposure to outdoor volatile organic compounds (BTXS) with pro-inflammatory biomarkers and hematologic parameters in urban adults: A cross-sectional study in Tabriz, Iran.


Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of Health and Research Center for Health Sciences, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]


This study aimed to compare the hematologic variables and pro-inflammatory biomarkers in urban adults living in Tabriz, Iran, facing various levels of outdoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Of all 219 people (212 male and 7 female), 71 were from the low traffic area and 148 were from high traffic and industrial areas. To validate the exposure levels, 93 air samples were taken to determine the target VOCs (benzene, toluene, xylenes, and styrene collectively called BTXS) concentrations in the studied areas. ANOVA and Tukey's tests were used for statistical analysis. Based on the results, significant differences were observed between the mean concentrations of BTXS with the following order of abundance: industrial > high traffic > low traffic. The Considerable decrease was observed in red blood cells (RBCs), hemoglobin, hematocrit, and eosinophils of 0.324 ( × 106/μL), 0.57 g/dL, 1.87%, and 0.17 ( × 103/μL), respectively in industrial area participants as compared to the low traffic area. However, a significant increase was observed in white blood cell count (WBC), neutrophils number, neutrophils percent, TNF-α and INF-γ of 0.88 ( × 103/μL), 0.80 ( × 103/μL), 3.53%, 34.2 ng/mL, and 40.06 ng/mL, respectively in the same groups. The comparison of low and high traffic areas showed significant differences in RBC (p = 0.034), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (p < 0.001), and interferon gamma (INF-γ) (p < 0.001). On the contrary, no significant difference was observed in TNF-α and INF-γ among the high traffic and industrial areas. In conclusion, the results showed that the samples from high traffic and industrial areas were regularly exposed to higher values of BTXS due to traffic and industrial pollutants as compared to the samples residing in low traffic regions. Based on the results living in both high traffic and industrial regions can increase adverse effects on hematologic parameters and pro-inflammatory cytokines.


Air pollution,Hematologic parameters,INF-γ,Outdoor VOCs,TNF-α,Urban area,

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