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Health consequences of disinfection against SARS-CoV-2: Exploring oxidative stress damage using a biomonitoring approach

journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-25, 00:00 authored by A Rafiee, J M Delgado-Saborit, Peter SlyPeter Sly, H Amiri, S Mosalaei, M Hoseini
Individuals who get involved in the disinfection of public settings using sodium hypochlorite might suffer adverse health effects. However, scarce information is available on the potential oxidative stress damage caused at low concentrations typically used for disinfection. We aimed to assess whether exposure to sodium hypochlorite during the COVID-19 pandemic causes oxidative stress damage in workers engaged in disinfection tasks. 75 operators engaged in the disinfection of public places were recruited as the case group, and 60 individuals who were not exposed to disinfectant were chosen as the control group. Spot urine samples were collected before (BE) and after exposure (AE) to disinfectants in the case group. Likewise, controls provided two spot urine samples in the same way as the case group. Urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were quantified by forming thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in the urine. In addition, the concentration of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in the urine was determined using an ELISA kit. Results showed significant differences in the urinary levels of oxidative stress markers, where median 8-OHdG (AE case: 3.84 ± 2.89 μg/g creatinine vs AE control 2.54 ± 1.21 μg/g creatinine) and MDA (AE case: 169 ± 89 μg/g creatinine vs AE control 121 ± 47 μg/g creatinine) levels in case group AE samples were 1.55 and 1.35-times higher than the control group AE samples (P < 0.05), respectively. Besides, urinary levels of oxidative stress markers in AE samples of the case group were significantly higher than in BE samples (8-OHdG BE 3.40 ± 1.95 μg/g creatinine, MDA BE 136 ± 51.3 μg/g creatinine, P < 0.05). Our results indicated that exposure to even low levels of sodium hypochlorite used in disinfection practices might cause oxidative stress related damage. With this in mind, implementing robust protective measures, such as specific respirators, is crucial to reduce the health burdens of exposure to disinfectants.



Science of the Total Environment




1 - 7




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal