Pulmonary Functions, Oxidative Stress and DNA Damage in Workers of a Copper Processing Industry

S Kumar, F Khaliq, S Singh, R Ahmed, R Kumar, PS Deshmukh, BD Banerjee


Background: Occupational exposure to excessive level of copper results in many adverse health effects.

Objective: To measure pulmonary function, oxidative stress, and extent of DNA damage in workers of a copper processing industry.

Methods: 30 men working in a copper processing industry and 30 men matched for age and socioeconomic status (comparison group) were included in this study. Pulmonary function test parameters were measured for all participants. Serum malondialdehyde (MDA), ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), glutathione (GSH) content in RBCs and 8-OHdG were assayed by ELISA. Extent of DNA damage in leucocytes was assayed by comet assay.

Results: Pulmonary function parameters, FVC, FEV1, PEFR, and MVV measured in workers were significantly (p<0.05) lower than those observed in the comparison group. Compared to the comparison group, MDA was significantly (p=0.002) increased in studied workers; TAOC (p=0.017), and GSH (p=0.020) were significantly lower in workers than the comparison group. There was significant DNA damage in leucocytes in workers compared to the comparison group (difference in olive tail moment p<0.001). PEFR, FEF25-75%, and MEF50% were negatively correlated with MDA.

Conclusion: The observed DNA damage would be due to increased oxidative stress resulting from excessive exposure to copper.


Lung; Respiratory function tests; Oxidative stress; DNA damage; Copper; Miner

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2016.612

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License