Levels of urinary biomarkers of exposure and potential genotoxic risks in firefighters
This study characterizes the levels of six urinary monohydroxyl-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Portuguese firefighters directly involved in firefighting activities. Median concentrations of urinary total monohydroxyl-PAHs were predominantly higher in exposed subjects comparatively with non-exposed firefighters (3.12 versus 1.59 μmol/mol creatinine, respectively). Urinary 1-hydroxynaphthalene and 1-hydroxyacenaphthene were the most predominant metabolites (87–90% of total monohydroxyl-PAHs), being followed by 2-hydroxylfluorene (2.4–6.3%), 1-hydroxyphenanthrene (4.1–5.4%), and 1-hydroxypyrene (2.0–2.6%). Firefighters who were directly involved in fire combat activities presented increased percentages of DNA damage (9.85 versus 10.9%; p ≤ 0.01) and oxidative stress (0 versus 2.14% TDNA; p ≤ 0.01) comparatively with non-exposed subjects, thus revealing the impact of fires on the health of exposed firefighters.