Research Article

Prediction of health risk due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons present in urban air in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Published: September 27, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 3992-4002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2013.February.28.6
Cite this Article:
(2013). Prediction of health risk due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons present in urban air in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Genet. Mol. Res. 12(3): gmr2267. https://doi.org/10.4238/2013.February.28.6
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Abstract

Risk assessment can provide a comprehensive estimate of potential effects of contaminants under specific, well-defined, and well-described circumstances, providing quantitative relationships between exposure and effects to identify and to define areas of concern. We investigated the mutagenic activity of particulate matter in air samples collected from three sites in Rio de Janeiro city. Samples were collected using a high-volume sampler at Avenida Brasil, at Campus of Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and at Rebouças Tunnel. Six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and the derivative strains TA98/1.8-DNP6, YG1021, and YG1024, commonly used in mutagenicity assays, were treated (10-50 μg/plate), with and without exogenous metabolization. The highest values for the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were detected at Rebouças Tunnel. For chrysene, as an example, the concentration was nearly 200 times higher than that established by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Frequent traffic jams can place bus drivers who go through the Rebouças Tunnel at risk of exposure to up to 0.69 ng/m3 benzo(a) pyrene. Independent of exogenous metabolization, mutagenicity was detected in strains YG1021 and YG1024 at all the sites, suggesting nitro and amino derivatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Rebouças Tunnel air samples gave the highest values for rev/μg and rev/m3. This could be due to the fact that the long, enclosed passageway through a mountain restricts ventilation. The cancer risk estimate in this study was 10-3 for the benzo(a)pyrene, at the two sites, indicating a high risk.

Risk assessment can provide a comprehensive estimate of potential effects of contaminants under specific, well-defined, and well-described circumstances, providing quantitative relationships between exposure and effects to identify and to define areas of concern. We investigated the mutagenic activity of particulate matter in air samples collected from three sites in Rio de Janeiro city. Samples were collected using a high-volume sampler at Avenida Brasil, at Campus of Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and at Rebouças Tunnel. Six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and the derivative strains TA98/1.8-DNP6, YG1021, and YG1024, commonly used in mutagenicity assays, were treated (10-50 μg/plate), with and without exogenous metabolization. The highest values for the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were detected at Rebouças Tunnel. For chrysene, as an example, the concentration was nearly 200 times higher than that established by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Frequent traffic jams can place bus drivers who go through the Rebouças Tunnel at risk of exposure to up to 0.69 ng/m3 benzo(a) pyrene. Independent of exogenous metabolization, mutagenicity was detected in strains YG1021 and YG1024 at all the sites, suggesting nitro and amino derivatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Rebouças Tunnel air samples gave the highest values for rev/μg and rev/m3. This could be due to the fact that the long, enclosed passageway through a mountain restricts ventilation. The cancer risk estimate in this study was 10-3 for the benzo(a)pyrene, at the two sites, indicating a high risk.