Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Compounds Discovered That are Hundreds of Times More Mutagenic

Published: Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Bookmark and Share
OSU researchers have discovered novel compounds found in vehicle exhaust or grilling meat.

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered novel compounds produced by certain types of chemical reactions - such as those found in vehicle exhaust or grilling meat - that are hundreds of times more mutagenic than their parent compounds which are known carcinogens.

These compounds were not previously known to exist, and raise additional concerns about the health impacts of heavily-polluted urban air or dietary exposure. It’s not yet been determined in what level the compounds might be present, and no health standards now exist for them.

The findings were published in December in Environmental Science and Technology, a professional journal.

The compounds were identified in laboratory experiments that mimic the type of conditions which might be found from the combustion and exhaust in cars and trucks, or the grilling of meat over a flame.

“Some of the compounds that we’ve discovered are far more mutagenic than we previously understood, and may exist in the environment as a result of heavy air pollution from vehicles or some types of food preparation,” said Staci Simonich, a professor of chemistry and toxicology in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We don’t know at this point what levels may be present, and will explore that in continued research,” she said.

The parent compounds involved in this research are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, formed naturally as the result of almost any type of combustion, from a wood stove to an automobile engine, cigarette or a coal-fired power plant.

Many PAHs, such as benzopyrene, are known to be carcinogenic, believed to be more of a health concern that has been appreciated in the past, and are the subject of extensive research at OSU and elsewhere around the world.

The PAHs can become even more of a problem when they chemically interact with nitrogen to become “nitrated,” or NPAHs, scientists say. The newly-discovered compounds are NPAHs that were unknown to this point.

This study found that the direct mutagenicity of the NPAHs with one nitrogen group can increase 6 to 432 times more than the parent compound. NPAHs based on two nitrogen groups can be 272 to 467 times more mutagenic. Mutagens are chemicals that can cause DNA damage in cells that in turn can cause cancer.

For technical reasons based on how the mutagenic assays are conducted, the researchers said these numbers may actually understate the increase in toxicity - it could be even higher.

These discoveries are an outgrowth of research on PAHs that was done by Simonich at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008, when extensive studies of urban air quality were conducted, in part, based on concerns about impacts on athletes and visitors to the games.

Beijing, like some other cities in Asia, has significant problems with air quality, and may be 10-50 times more polluted than some major urban areas in the U.S. with air concerns, such as the Los Angeles basin.

An agency of the World Health Organization announced last fall that it now considers outdoor air pollution, especially particulate matter, to be carcinogenic, and cause other health problems as well. PAHs are one of the types of pollutants found on particulate matter in air pollution that are of special concern.

Concerns about the heavy levels of air pollution from some Asian cities are sufficient that Simonich is doing monitoring on Oregon’s Mount Bachelor, a 9,065-foot mountain in the central Oregon Cascade Range. Researchers want to determine what levels of air pollution may be found there after traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Algal Blooms Pose Health Risks Downstream
A new study has found that toxic algal blooms in reservoirs on the Klamath River can create unsafe water conditions far downstream on lower parts of the river in northern California.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
How Climate Influenced Fresh Water during Last Ice Age
A new study shows how huge influxes of fresh water from icebergs during the last ice age had an unexpected effect; they increased the production of methane in the tropical wetlands.
Monday, June 01, 2015
Using the Sun to Create Solar Energy Materials
Researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Scientific News
Elevated Bladder Cancer Risk in New England and Arsenic in Drinking Water From Private Wells
Researchers have found that drinking water from private wells, may have contributed to the elevated risk of bladder cancer in northern new England.
Detecting Nano Amounts In Environmental Samples
The NanoUmwelt project is developing a technique that can detect nanomaterials in a variety of environmental samples.
Bioreactors Ready for the Big Time
Bioreactors are passive filtration systems that can reduce nitrate losses from farm fields.
Microbial Biosensor Designed To Evaluate Water Toxicity
UAB researchers develop new paper-based biological tool.
Coding and Computers Help Spot Methane, Explosives
Coded apertures improve and shrink mass spectrometers for field use.
Role Of Ancestry In Soil Communities Of Bacteria Revealed
Northern Arizona University researchers used quantitative stable isotope probing to measure bacterial activity in intact soil communities.
Environmental Cleanup Tech Rids Oil from Water
A new technology that is easy to manufacture and uses commercially available materials makes it possible to continuously remove oils and other pollutants from water, representing a potential tool for environmental cleanup.
Fracking's Impact on Drinking Water Sources
A case study of a small Wyoming town reveals that practices common in the fracking industry may have widespread impacts on drinking water resources.
Coral-on-a-Chip Cracks Coral Mysteries
Growing corals in the lab reveals their complex lives.
Waste Water Reveals Drug Secrets
Methamphetamine residue found in the wastewater of a Queensland city has multiplied five times since 2009.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!