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Effects on airways of short-term exposure to two kinds of wood smoke in a chamber study of healthy humans.

Journal article
Authors Leo Stockfelt
Gerd Sällsten
Anna-Carin Olin
Pernilla Almerud
Lena Samuelsson
Sandra Johannesson
Peter Molnár
Bo Strandberg
Ann-Charlotte Almstrand
kerstin Bergemalm-Rynell
Lars Barregård
Published in Inhalation toxicology
Volume 24
Issue 1
Pages 47-59
ISSN 1091-7691
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 47-59
Language en
Keywords controlled exposure, wood smoke, particles, biomarkers, humans, health effects, airway effects
Subject categories Internal medicine


Introduction: Air pollution causes respiratory symptoms and pulmonary disease. Airway inflammation may be involved in the mechanism also for cardiovascular disease. Wood smoke is a significant contributor to air pollution, with complex and varying composition. We examined airway effects of two kinds of wood smoke in a chamber study. Materials and Methods: Thirteen subjects were exposed to filtered air and to wood smoke from the start-up phase and the burn-out phase of the wood-burning cycle. Levels of PM(2.5) were 295 µg/m(3) and 146 µg/m(3), number concentrations 140 000/cm(3) and 100 000/cm(3). Biomarkers in blood, breath and urine were measured before and on several occasions after exposure. Effects of wood smoke exposure were assessed adjusting for results with filtered air. Results: After exposure to wood smoke from the start-up, but not the burn-out session, Clara cell protein 16 (CC16) increased in serum after 4 hours, and in urine the next morning. CC16 showed a clear diurnal variation. Fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) increased after wood smoke exposure from the burn-out phase, but partly due to a decrease after exposure to filtered air. No other airway markers increased. Conclusions: The results indicate that relatively low levels of wood smoke exposure induce effects on airways. Effects on airway epithelial permeability was shown for the start-up phase of wood burning, while FENO increased after the burn-out session. CC16 seems to be a sensitive marker of effects of air pollution both in serum and urine, but its function and the significance need to be clarified.

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