Academic Article


  • 2023

Purpose Occupational exposure to bioaerosols during waste handling remains a health concern for exposed workers. However, exposure-related health effects and underlying immunological mechanisms are still poorly described. Methods The present study assessed the inflammatory potential of work-air samples (n = 56) in vitro and investigated biomarker expression in exposed workers (n = 69) compared to unexposed controls (n = 25). These quantitative results were compared to self-reported health conditions. Results Personal air samples provoked an activation of TLR2 and TLR4 HEK reporter cells in one-third of all samples, indicating that the work environment contained ligands capable of inducing an immune response in vitro. Monocyte levels, as well as plasma biomarker levels, such as IL-1Ra, IL-18 and TNFα were significantly higher in exposed workers, compared to the control group when confounding factors such as BMI, sex, age and smoking habits were accounted for. Furthermore, a significant exposure-related increase in midweek IL-8 levels was measured among exposed workers. Tendencies of increased prevalence of health effects of the respiratory tract were identified in exposed workers. Conclusion Inhalable dust provoked TLR activation in vitro, indicating that an exposure-related immune response may be expected in susceptible workers. However, despite significant differences in inflammatory plasma biomarker levels between exposed and unexposed workers,...

Eriksen, Elke; Afanou, Komlavi Anani; Straumfors, Anne; Graff, Pål
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 96: 985–998
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