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Cytotoxic and Inflammatory Potential of Air Samples from Occupational Settings with Exposure to Organic Dust

Environment and Health Research Group, Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Lisboa, ESTeSL, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Av. D. João II, Lote 4.69.01, 1990-096 Lisboa, Portugal
Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1600-560 Lisbon, Portugal
Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, 649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Department of Health Security, Chemicals and Health Unit, P.O. Box 95, FIN-70701 Kuopio, Finland
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine. University of Lisbon, 649-028 Lisbon, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Bellinger
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Organic dust and related microbial exposures are the main inducers of several respiratory symptoms. Occupational exposure to organic dust is very common and has been reported in diverse settings. In vitro tests using relevant cell cultures can be very useful for characterizing the toxicity of complex mixtures present in the air of occupational environments such as organic dust. In this study, the cell viability and the inflammatory response, as measured by the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), were determined in human macrophages derived from THP-1 monocytic cells. These cells were exposed to air samples from five occupational settings known to possess high levels of contamination of organic dust: poultry and swine feed industries, waste sorting, poultry production and slaughterhouses. Additionally, fungi and particle contamination of those settings was studied to better characterize the organic dust composition. All air samples collected from the assessed workplaces caused both cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects. The highest responses were observed in the feed industry, particularly in swine feed production. This study emphasizes the importance of measuring the organic dust/mixture effects in occupational settings and suggests that differences in the organic dust content may result in differences in health effects for exposed workers. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic dust; occupational exposure; cytotoxic effects; inflammatory effects; in vitro organic dust; occupational exposure; cytotoxic effects; inflammatory effects; in vitro

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Viegas, S.; Caetano, L.A.; Korkalainen, M.; Faria, T.; Pacífico, C.; Carolino, E.; Quintal Gomes, A.; Viegas, C. Cytotoxic and Inflammatory Potential of Air Samples from Occupational Settings with Exposure to Organic Dust. Toxics 2017, 5, 8.

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