Environment International ( IF 7.577 ) Pub Date : 2020-09-15 , DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.106121 Sabit Cakmak; Christie Cole; Chris Hebbern; Julie Andrade; Robert Dales
To investigate the influence of volatile organic compound (VOC) levels in blood, on hematological and serum biochemical parameters in the Canadian population.
We tested the association between seven selected VOCs and hematological profiles and serum tests reflecting liver and kidney function and glucose metabolism using a cross-sectional study design in 3950 participants of the Canadian Health Measures Survey from 2012 to 2015. We used generalized linear mixed models adjusting for age, sex, smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI, education and household income.
An increase in blood concentration equivalent to the geometric mean for benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, m-, p-xylenes, styrene, and total xylenes was associated with 0.68% (95% CI 0.36, 1.0) to 0.91% (95% CI 0.52, 1.3) increase in hemoglobin, and a 1.79% (95% CI 0.96, 2.62) to 4.11% (95% CI 3.11, 5.11) increase in total white blood cell count. Ethylbenzene, toluene, m-, p-xylenes and styrene were positively associated with increased platelet counts. A geometric mean increase for all VOCs was associated with decreases in creatinine. m- and p-xylenes were associated with a significant change in every measured blood cell count and liver function parameter, and in creatinine. Ethylbenzene was also positively associated with an increase in every measured hematologic parameter, two of the three liver function tests, and creatinine. Results were similar when stratified by age, but differed by smoking status and sex.
This study provides evidence that VOCs in blood, at levels found in the Canadian population, may influence blood cell counts and indicators of liver and kidney function, including an inverse association between serum VOC and creatinine. This novel finding merits further investigation to understand the impact of VOCs on human physiology and population health.