The influence of the intensity of smoking and years of work in the metallurgy on pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance in the blood of smelters.Toxicol Ind Health 2013; 29(2):149-61TI
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoking and occupational exposure to heavy metals on the degree of pro-oxidant/antioxidant imbalance in smelters. The investigations were performed on the blood and urine of 400 subjects: 300 male copper smelters and 100 nonexposed male subjects. Biological material was divided into three groups: nonsmokers, those who smoked less than 20 cigarettes a day and those who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day. The results showed a significant increase in the concentration of lead, cadmium and arsenic in the blood and urine of smelters, while smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day caused a further increase in the concentration of these metals. The level of malondialdehyde was approximately twofold higher in the plasma of the smelters compared to the control group. We have observed a disturbance in the level of antioxidants in erythrocyte lysate manifested by an increase in metallothionein and glutathione concentrations as well as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and the decrease in glutathione S-transferase activity. Cigarette smoking, years of work in metallurgy and age of smelters were additional factors significantly affecting the pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance.