Individual and cumulative impacts of fire emissions and tobacco consumption on wildland firefighters’ total exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons uri icon


  • There is limited information about wildland firefighters’ exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydro-carbons (PAHs), being scarce studies that included the impact of tobacco consumption. Thus, thiswork evaluated the individual and cumulative impacts of firefighting activities and smoking onwildland firefighters’ total exposure to PAHs. Six urinary PAH metabolites (1-hydroxynaphthalene(1OHNaph), 1-hydroxyacenaphthene (1OHAce), 2-hydroxyfluorene (2OHFlu), 1-hydroxyphenanthrene(1OHPhen), 1-hydroxypyrene (1OHPy), and 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (3OHB[a]P)) were quantified byhigh-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Firefighters from three fire sta-tions were characterized and organized in three groups: non-smoking and non-exposed to fire emissions(NSNExp), smoking non-exposed (SNExp), and smoking exposed (SExp) individuals. 1OHNaph + 1OHAcewere the most predominant OH-PAHs (66–91% OH-PAHs), followed by 2OHFlu (2.8–28%), 1OHPhen(1.3–7%), and 1OHPy (1.4–6%). 3OHB[a]P, the carcinogenicity PAH biomarker, was not detected. Regu-lar consumption of tobacco increased 76–412% OH-PAHs. Fire combat activities promoted significantincrements of 158–551% OH-PAHs. 2OHFlu was the most affected compound by firefighting activi-ties (111–1068%), while 1OHNaph + 1OHAce presented the more pronounced increments due to tobaccoconsumption (22–339%); 1OHPhen (76–176%) and 1OHPy (20–220%) were the least influenced ones.OH-PAH levels of SExp firefighters were significantly higher than in other groups, suggesting that thesesubjects may be more vulnerable to develop and/or aggravate diseases related with PAHs exposure.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017