Fundamental Toxicological Sciences

Paper Details

Fundamental Toxicological Sciences
Vol. 2 No. 4 September 15, 2015 p.171-175
Health survey of workers in a 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene explosives factory in Fuxin, China
  • Yoshito Kumagai (Environmental Biology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba /
Yasuhiro Shinkai 1) , Song Li 2) , Tomohiro Kikuchi 3) , Nobuhiro Shimojo 2) , Yoshito Kumagai 1)
1) Environmental Biology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba , 2) Doctoral Program in Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba , 3) Master’s Program in Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
Keywords: 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene, Clinical symptoms, Hematotoxicity, Oxidative stress

2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a serious occupational and environmental pollutant. We conducted a cross-sectional health survey of workers in a TNT explosives factory in Fuxin, China. For each subject, we determined their blood pressure, hematotoxicity parameters, glutathione concentration, lipid hydroperoxide concentration, superoxide dismutase activity, and nitrite/nitrate (NOx) concentration in serum. Significantly fewer white blood cells were found in samples from male workers exposed to TNT than in samples from control male workers, but hematological parameters (such as the amount of hemoglobin present, the hematocrit value, and the formation of methemoglobin) varied little between the exposed and control workers. Exposure of male workers to TNT was found to cause their blood pressure to decrease significantly, concomitant with a tendency towards increased NOx concentrations in serum. On the other hand, lipid hydroperoxide (an oxidative stress marker) concentrations were significantly higher in female workers exposed to TNT than in control female workers. Our results suggest that TNT has different, deleterious effects in males and females, causing hematotoxic stress in males and oxidative stress in females.