Association of environmental exposure with hematological and oxidative stress alteration in gasoline station attendants

  • Zahed Ahmadi
  • Alireza Moradabadi
  • Danial Abdollahdokht
  • Mehrnaz Mehrabani
  • Mohammad Hadi NematollahiEmail author
Research Article


Gasoline station attendants spend a great deal of their time in the direct exposure to noxious substances such as benzene and byproducts of gasoline combustion. Such occupational exposure increases the risk of oxidative stress. This study aimed to evaluate hematological and biochemical alterations among petrol station workers. Forty gas station attendants and 39 non-attendants were recruited as exposed and control subjects, respectively. Plasma samples were evaluated for hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell count via the Sysmex KX-21 analyzer. Then, oxidized hemoglobin, methemoglobin, and hemichrome were measured spectrophotometrically. Moreover, serum antioxidant capacity and protein oxidation were evaluated. The means ± SD of hemoglobin (16.76 ± 0.14 g/dl vs 15.25 ± 0.14 g/dl), hematocrit (49.11 ± 0.36% vs 45.37 ± 0.31%), RBC count (5.85 ± 0.06 mil/μl vs 5.33 ± 0.06 mil/μl), Met-HB (1.07 ± 0.07 g/dl vs 0.39 ± 0.04 g/dl), and hemichrome (0.80 ± 0.07 g/dl vs 0.37 ± 0.02 g/dl) in the exposed group were significantly greater than the control group (P < 0.001). The results of the independent-sample t test illustrated that the FRAP test value in the exposed group (0.23 ± 0.01 mM) was significantly lower than the control group (0.34 ± 0.01 mM), while the value of the plasma protein carbonyl test in the exposed group (7.47 ± 0.33 mmol/mg protein) was meaningfully greater than the control group (5.81 ± 0.19 mmol/mg protein) (P < 0.001). In conclusion, gas station attendants suffer from higher levels of oxidative stress, and they need to take antioxidants in order to minimize the effects of oxidative stress.


Gasoline stations attendants Oxidative stress Occupational exposure FRAP Protein carbonyl 



The authors wish to thank Kerman University of Medical Sciences for the financial support (Grant No. 97000408) and use of laboratory facilities.

Compliance with ethical standards

The protocol of the present case-controlled study was approved by the ethics committee of Kerman University of Medical Sciences(IR.KMU.REC.1397.377), Kerman, Iran, and regarding the declaration of Helsinki, all the individuals provided written informed consent before study entry.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Adami G, Larese F, Venier M, Barbieri P, Coco FL, Reisenhofer E (2006) Penetration of benzene, toluene and xylenes contained in gasolines through human abdominal skin in vitro. Toxicol in Vitro 20:1321–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adgate JL, Goldstein BD, McKenzie LM (2014) Potential public health hazards, exposures and health effects from unconventional natural gas development. Environ Sci Technol 48:8307–8320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Fartosy A, Awad N, Shanan S (2014) Biochemical correlation between some heavy metals, malondialdehyde and total antioxidant capacity in blood of gasoline station workers. Int Res J Environ Sci 3:56–60Google Scholar
  4. Andersen HJ, Pellett L, Tappel AL (1994) Hemichrome formation, lipid peroxidation, enzyme inactivation and protein degradation as indexes of oxidative damage in homogenates of chicken kidney and liver. Chem Biol Interact 93:155–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Badham HJ, Winn LM (2010) In utero and in vitro effects of benzene and its metabolites on erythroid differentiation and the role of reactive oxygen species. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 244:273–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caprino L, Togna GI (1998) Potential health effects of gasoline and its constituents: a review of current literature (1990-1997) on toxicological data. Environ Health Perspect 106:115–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen X, Hopke PK, Carter WP (2010) Secondary organic aerosol from ozonolysis of biogenic volatile organic compounds: chamber studies of particle and reactive oxygen species formation. Environ Sci Technol 45:276–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chuang K-J, Chan C-C, Su T-C, Lee C-T, Tang C-S (2007) The effect of urban air pollution on inflammation, oxidative stress, coagulation, and autonomic dysfunction in young adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 176:370–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cocheo V (2000) Polluting agents and sources of urban air pollution. Ann Ist Super Sanita 36:267–274Google Scholar
  10. Dalle-Donne I, Rossi R, Giustarini D, Milzani A, Colombo R (2003) Protein carbonyl groups as biomarkers of oxidative stress. Clin Chim Acta 329:23–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dede E, Kagbo H (2002) A study on the acute toxicological effects of commercial diesel fuel in Nigeria in rats (Ratus ratus.) using hematological parameters. J Appl Sci Environ Manag 6:84–86Google Scholar
  12. Delfino RJ (2002) Epidemiologic evidence for asthma and exposure to air toxics: linkages between occupational, indoor, and community air pollution research. Environ Health Perspect 110:573–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Den Hartigh L, Lamé M, Ham W, Kleeman M, Tablin F, Wilson D (2010) Endotoxin and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient fine particulate matter from Fresno, California initiate human monocyte inflammatory responses mediated by reactive oxygen species. Toxicol in Vitro 24:1993–2002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Erslev A, Caro J (1984) Secondary polycythemia: a boon or a burden? Blood Cells 10:177–191Google Scholar
  15. Fibach E, Rachmilewitz E (2008) The role of oxidative stress in hemolytic anemia. Curr Mol Med 8:609–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Halek FS, Shirazi HK, Mohamadi MM (2004) The contribution of gasoline to indoor air pollution in Tehran, Iran. Indoor Built Environ 13:295–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Halliwell B, Gutteridge JM (2015) Free radicals in biology and medicine. Oxford University Press, USACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harrington JP, Newton P, Crumpton T, Keaton L (1993) Induced hemichrome formation of methemoglobins A, S and F by fatty acids, alkyl ureas and urea. Int J Biochem 25:665–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huff J (2007) Benzene-induced cancers: abridged history and occupational health impact. Int J Occup Environ Health 13:213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ibrahim M, El-Gohary M, Saleh N, Elashry M (2008) Spectroscopic study on oxidative reactions of normal and pathogenic hemoglobin molecules. Romanian J Biophys 18:39–47Google Scholar
  21. Jarolim P, Lahav M, Liu S-C, Palek J (1990) Effect of hemoglobin oxidation products on the stability of red cell membrane skeletons and the associations of skeletal proteins: correlation with a release of hemin. Blood 76:2125–2131Google Scholar
  22. Juybari KB, Ebrahimi G, Moghaddam MAM, Asadikaram G, Torkzadeh-Mahani M, Akbari M, Mirzamohammadi S, Karimi A, Nematollahi MH (2018) Evaluation of serum arsenic and its effects on antioxidant alterations in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients. Mult Scler Relat Disord 19:79–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klaunig JE, Kamendulis LM, Hocevar BA (2010) Oxidative stress and oxidative damage in carcinogenesis. Toxicol Pathol 38:96–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kone B, Maiga M, Baya B, Sarro YDS, Coulibaly N, Kone A, Diarra B, Sanogo M, Togo ACG, Goita D, Dembele, M,(2017) Establishing reference ranges of hematological parameters from Malian healthy adults.Journal of blood & lymph, 7(1), pii: 154.Google Scholar
  25. Kusano C, Ferrari B (2008) Total antioxidant capacity: a biomarker in biomedical and nutritional studies. J Cell Mol Biol 7:1–15Google Scholar
  26. Lavarías S, Heras H, Pedrini N, Tournier H, Ansaldo M (2011) Antioxidant response and oxidative stress levels in Macrobrachium borellii (Crustacea: Palaemonidae) exposed to the water-soluble fraction of petroleum. Comp Biochem Physiol Part C: Toxicol Pharmacol 153:415–421Google Scholar
  27. Loft S, Poulsen HE, Vistisen K, Knudsen LE (1999) Increased urinary excretion of 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine, a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage, in urban bus drivers. Mutat Res/Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 441:11–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mittler R (2002) Oxidative stress, antioxidants and stress tolerance. Trends Plant Sci 7:405–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moro AM, Charão MF, Brucker N, Durgante J, Baierle M, Bubols G, Goethel G, Fracasso R, Nascimento S, Bulcão R (2013) Genotoxicity and oxidative stress in gasoline station attendants. Mutat Res/Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 754:63–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Okoro AM, Ani E, Ibu JO, Akpogomeh BA (2006) Effect of petroleum products inhalation on some haematological indices of fuel attendants in Calabar metropolis, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, 21(1-2), 71-5.Google Scholar
  31. Ovuru S, Ekweozor I (2004) Haematological changes associated with crude oil ingestion in experimental rabbits. Afr J Biotechnol 3:346–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pavón JLP, del Nogal Sánchez M, Laespada MEF, Cordero BM (2008) Determination of aromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in gasoline using programmed temperature vaporization-gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A 1202:196–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pilapong C, Pongpiajun S, Mankhetkorn S (2015) Visualizing reactive oxygen species inside cancer cells after stimulation with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon via spontaneous formation of Au nanoclusters. Mater Lett 140:162–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Risom L, Møller P, Loft S (2005) Oxidative stress-induced DNA damage by particulate air pollution. Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 592:119–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roberts CK, Sindhu KK (2009) Oxidative stress and metabolic syndrome. Life Sci 84:705–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sahb AA (2011) Hematological assessment of gasoline exposure among petrol filling workers in Baghdad. J Fac Med 53:396–400Google Scholar
  37. Sarma SN, Kim Y-J, Song M, Ryu J-C (2011) Induction of apoptosis in human leukemia cells through the production of reactive oxygen species and activation of HMOX1 and Noxa by benzene, toluene, and o-xylene. Toxicology 280:109–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shukla A, Timblin C, BeruBe K, Gordon T, McKinney W, Driscoll K, Vacek P, Mossman BT (2000) Inhaled particulate matter causes expression of nuclear factor (NF)-κ B–related genes and oxidant-dependent NF-κ B activation in vitro. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 23:182–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sies H (2013) Oxidative stress. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  40. Sohal RS (2002) Role of oxidative stress and protein oxidation in the aging process1, 2. Free Radic Biol Med 33:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sugamura K, Keaney JF Jr (2011) Reactive oxygen species in cardiovascular disease. Free Radic Biol Med 51:978–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sugawara Y, Kadono E, Suzuki A, Yukuta Y, Shibasaki Y, Nishimura N, Kameyama Y, Hirota M, Ishida C, Higuchi N (2003) Hemichrome formation observed in human haemoglobin A under various buffer conditions. Acta Physiol 179:49–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Udonwa N, Uko EK, Ikpeme BM, Ibanga IA, Okon BO (2009) Exposure of petrol station attendants and auto mechanics to premium motor sprit fumes in Calabar, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2009, 1-5.Google Scholar
  44. Wright RO, Lewander WJ, Woolf AD (1999) Methemoglobinemia: etiology, pharmacology, and clinical management. Ann Emerg Med 34:646–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Xia B, Chen K, Lv Y, Huang D, Liu J, Liang G, Le Z, Wang F, Su C, Zou Y (2017) Increased oxidative stress and plasma Hsp70 levels among gasoline filling station attendants. Toxicol Ind Health 33:171–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zoccolillo L, Babi D, Felli M (2000) Evaluation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in gasoline by HPLC and GC-MS. Chromatographia 52:373–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public HealthKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  2. 2.Hematology and blood bankingarak University of Medical SciencesArakIran
  3. 3.Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of NeuropharmacologyKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  4. 4.Physiology Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology SciencesKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  5. 5.Department of Biochemistry, School of MedicineKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran

Personalised recommendations