Carbon load in airway macrophages, DNA damage and lung function in taxi drivers exposed to traffic-related air pollution

  • Vida Rezaei HachesuEmail author
  • Shadi Naderyan Fe’li
  • Fatemeh Kargar Shouroki
  • Amir Houshang Mehrparvar
  • Javad Zavar Reza
  • Mohammad Azimi
  • Mohammad Javad Zare SakhvidiEmail author
Research Article


To evaluate the potential applicability of carbon load in airway macrophages as a marker of exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and its association with parameters of comet assay as a marker of DNA damage, and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in the group of taxi drivers in Iran. One hundred four male taxi drivers with at least 1-year job history were randomly selected from registered drivers in the taxi union. Airway macrophages were obtained via sputum induction, and then the area of airway macrophages occupied by carbon was measured. DNA damage was determined by comet assay. PFTs were measured by the spirometer. Most of the participants (89.4%) were non-smoker. In this study, 52.7% of non-smoker participants were able to give a sample of sputum with macrophage. Carbon content of airway macrophages was 0.2 μm2. There was no significant difference in pulmonary function and comet assay parameters in terms of smoking status. There was an inverse correlation between carbon load with each of comet assay and PFTs parameters, although not statistically significant. This study identified that long-term exposure to TRAP can be a risk factor for pulmonary disorders.


Comet assay DNA damage Air pollution Airway macrophages Carbon load Lung function 



The authors are grateful to all the taxi drivers who participated in the study. Our study was sponsored by Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.


This study was funded by Yazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, as a thesis of mis. Vida Rezaei Hachesu.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Yazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in 2016.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational Health, School of Public HealthShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public HealthShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  3. 3.Occupational Health Research CenterShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  4. 4.Department of Occupational Medicine, Faculty of MedicineShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  5. 5.Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran

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