Environmental health and toxicology

Characterization of cytotoxicity of airborne particulates from urban areas of Lahore


Badar Ghauri , M. Mansha , Christian Khalil

DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(11)61040-1

Received January 24, 2012,Revised March 29, 2012, Accepted , Available online November 06, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 2028-2034

A number of species (organic and inorganic) in airborne particulates cause the toxicity to living being. The potential of in vitro test methods were explored for toxicity assessment of trace toxic elements (inorganic species) present in ambient air on human being (lungs). A year long sampling of airborne particles (PM2.5) was carried (April 2008 to March 2009) in Lahore, Pakistan. A total of thirty nine samples were collected on 47 mm Zefluor Teflon filter membranes and each was analysed to characterize for the elements: Sb, As, Be, Cd, Cr, Co, Pb, Mn, Hg using ICP-MS in water extract and total acid digestate. The samples cytotoxicity was also established using lung derived cells and MTS colorimetric assays. This generated dose response curves and IC50 values for the elemental mixtures identified on the Teflon filter membrane. The results indicated that even at low concentrations airborne elemental mixtures displayed an additive toxic effect.

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