Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts among rickshaw drivers in Dhaka City, Bangladesh

M. Hafizur Rahman, M. Iqbal Arslan, Yu Chen, Suhrab Ali, Tanzeema Parvin, Lian Wen Wang, Regina M. Santella, Habibul Ahsan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes findings from a recently completed study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure among city dwellers of Dhaka, Bangladesh. We measured PAH-DNA adducts in white blood cells (WBCs) as a marker of environmental and occupational PAH exposure in 46 rickshaw drivers (who pedal commercial unshielded three-wheelers for passenger transport) and 48 non-rickshaw drivers (comparison group) in Dhaka city. We performed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to quantify immunologically the WBC PAH-DNA adducts. Rickshaw drivers had a significantly higher WBC PAH-DNA adducts level than the non-rickshaw drivers. Among rickshaw drivers, adduct levels tended to be positively associated with the duration of residence in the city and cigarette smoking. No such trends were observed among non-rickshaw drivers. In conclusion, the results suggest that urban residents who are occupationally exposed to traffic pollution in Dhaka are at potentially higher risk of health effects from exposure to carcinogenic PAH compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Bangladesh
  • Environmental pollution
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • PAH-DNA adducts
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)
  • Rickshaw drivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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