2013-07-31 17:11:13 UTC
Harrington AD, Tsirka SE, Schoonen MA.
Chemosphere. 2013 Jul 26. pii: S0045-6535(13)00939-9.
Department of Geosciences, Earth and Space Sciences Building, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11784-2100, USA; Institute of Environmental Medicine, New York University, 57 Old Forge Road, Tuxedo, NY 10987, USA. Electronic address: ***@nyumc.org.
On the basis of a recent epidemiological study it is hypothesized that pyrite content in coal is an important factor in coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) pathogenesis. While the role of pyrite in pathogenesis remains to be resolved, the ability of the mineral to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) through various mechanisms is likely a contributing factor. The aim of this study was to elucidate the importance of the pyrite content of coal in generating an inflammatory stress response (ISR), which is defined as the upregulation of ROS normalized by cell viability. The ISR of A549 human lung epithelial cells in the presence of natural coal samples with variable pyrite contents was measured. Normalized to surface area, five particle loadings for each coal reference standard were analyzed systematically for a total of 24h. The ISR generated by coals containing 0.00, 0.01, and 0.49wt.% pyritic sulfur is comparable to,though less than, the ISR generated by inert glass beads (299% of the control). The coals containing 0.52 and 1.15wt.% pyritic sulfur generated the greatest ISR (798% and 1426% of the control, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: While ISR does not increase proportionally to pyrite content in coal, the two coals with the highest pyritic sulfur and available iron contents generate the greatest ISR. Therefore, the present study indicates that coals with elevated pyrite contents are likely to induce a significant health burden by stimulating inflammation within the lungs, and may contribute to the development of CWP.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
KEYWORDS: Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, Inflammatory stress response, Iron, Pyrite
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