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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 765352, 9 pages
Research Article

Genotoxicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Nitro-Derived in Respirable Airborne Particulate Matter Collected from Urban Areas of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

1Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Biologia Roberto Alcantara Gomes, Departamento de Biofísica e Biometria, Laboratório de Mutagênese Ambiental, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Faculdade de Tecnologia, Departamento de Química Ambiental, 27537-000 Resende, RJ, Brazil
3Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Farmanguinhos Plataforma de Métodos Analíticos, 21040-360 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto Biomédico, Departamento de Genética e Biologia Molecular, Laboratório de Genotoxicidade, 20211-040 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Received 2 April 2013; Accepted 11 April 2013

Academic Editor: John B. Vincent

Copyright © 2013 Claudia Ramos de Rainho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Air pollution toxic effects are mainly attributed to small inhalable particulates with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 µm (PM 2.5). Our objective was to investigate mutagenic and clastogenic activity in PM samples collected in Rio de Janeiro. Samples were collected using a high-volume sampler at three sites: with low traffic and (2) and (3) with a heavy traffic. Six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and the derivative strains YG1021 and YG1024 were used in mutagenicity assays in the presence of organic extracts (10–50 µg/ plate) with and without exogenous metabolization. Allium cepa test was performed to evaluate possible cytotoxic and clastogenic activities. The highest PM 2.5 µm (132.73 µm/m3) and PAH values (1.22 ng/m3 for benzo(a)pyrene) were detected at site 3. High mutagenic frameshift responses in absence and presence of metabolic activation were detected at site 3. The participation of nitroarenes and dinitroarenes was detected in the total mutagenicity of the extracts studied. The cytotoxic effect and the abnormalities detected by Allium cepa test can be attributed to the PAH nitroderivatives in the organic extracts. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of urban airborne particulate matter is important as a basis for decision making by regulatory authorities.