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Effects of particulate matter gamma radiation on oxidative stress biomarkers in COPD patients


Inhalation of particulate matter (PM) radioactivity is an important pathway of ionizing radiation exposure. We investigated the associations between short-term exposures to PM gamma radioactivity with oxidative stress in COPD patients. Urinary concentrations of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and malondialdehyde (MDA) of 81 COPD patients from Eastern Massachusetts were measured 1–4 times during 2012–2014. Daily ambient and indoor PM gamma activities (gamma-3 through gamma-9) were calculated based on EPA RadNet data and indoor–outdoor infiltration ratios. Linear mixed-effects models were used to examine the associations between biomarkers with PM gamma activities for moving averages from urine collection day to 7 days before. Our results indicate that ambient and indoor PM gamma activities were positively associated with 8-OHdG, with stronger effects for exposure windows closer to urine collection day. For per interquartile range increase in indoor PM gamma activities averaged over urine collection day and 1 day before, 8-OHdG increased from 3.41% (95% CI: −0.88, 7.88) to 8.87% (95% CI: 2.98, 15.1), adjusted for indoor black carbon. For MDA, the timing of greatest effects across the exposure week varied but was nearly all positive. These findings provide insight into the toxigenic properties associated with PM radioactivity and suggest that these exposures promote systemic oxidative stress.

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This study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (grant numbers: P30-ES000002, P01-ES009825, and R01-ES019853), and was conducted with resources and the use of facilities at the VA Boston Healthcare System. This publication was also made possible by United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (grant number: RD-835872-01) through the Harvard University USEPA sponsored Air, Climate & Environment (ACE) Centre. The contents do not reflect the position of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. As well, the contents of the study are solely the responsibility of the grantee and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USEPA. Further, USEPA does not endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in the publication.

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Correspondence to Eric Garshick.

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Huang, S., Koutrakis, P., Grady, S.T. et al. Effects of particulate matter gamma radiation on oxidative stress biomarkers in COPD patients. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 31, 727–735 (2021).

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