The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

BIOMASS BURNING DURING SUGARCANE HARVESTING IS MARKED HARMFUL FOR NASAL MUCOSA OF SUGARCANE WORKERS AND RESIDENTS OF URBAN AREAS THAT SURROUND THE BURNING FIELDS

Naomi K. Nakagawa1,2, Daniele Cristina C. Morais1, Danielle M. Goto1, Marina Lança1, Regiani C. Oliveira2, Mario Terra3, Dirce Maria T. Zanetta4, Ubiratan P. Santos3; 1Physiotherapy, Communication Science and Disorders and Occupational Therapy - LIM34, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2Pathology - LIM 05, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de, São Paulo, Brazil; 3Pulmonary Division, Heart Institute, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de, São Paulo, Brazil; 4Epidemiology, School of Public Health - Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Background: Biomass burning produces toxic gases and suspended particle that contribute for high levels of air pollution and can have negative effects on human health. Methods: We aimed to assess the effects of biomass burning during sugarcane harvesting on nasal mucociliary clearance (NMCC) by saccharine transit test (STT), mucus properties by high flow clearability and contact angle, and total and differential cells countings, cytokine expression of TNF-α, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8 e IL-10 in nasal lavage (NL), arterial pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry, body temperature, exhaled carbon monoxide-CO, airways discomfort symptoms and respiratory events of sugarcane workers and residents that live near to sugarcane fields. We evaluated 154 young non-smokers (18-42 y.o.), residents (n=73) and sugarcane workers (n=81) at two time-points: (a) non-harvesting: 4-months of non exposure to biomass burning and (b) harvesting: after 8-months of exposure. Results: Sugarcane workers compared with residents were younger (29 and 24 years respectively, P < .001) and with lower body mass index (27±5 and 24±4 respectively, P < .001). At harvesting, sugarcane workers compared with residents presented lower mean blood pressure (93±10 and 97±9 mmHg respectively, P=.042), heart rate (63±11 and 76±14 bpm respectively, P < .001), IL-4 (0.3±0.6 and 0.4±0.5 pg/ml respectively, P=.001), ciliated cells (52±14 and 64±19% respectively, P < .001), goblet cells (4±5 and 13±14% respectively, P < .001), and higher pulse oximetry (98±1 and 97±1% respectively, P=.024), number of total cells (32±30 and 24±29 cells respectively, P=.040), neutrophils (2±3 and 1±2% respectively, P < .001), eosinophils (0±1 and 0±0% respectively, P < .001), macrophages (40±13 and 21±16% respectively, P < .001) and IL-6 concentration in NL (4.0±3.7 and 2.8±3.4 pg/ml respectively, P=.026). There were no significant differences in mucus physical properties, concentrations of IL-8 and TNF-α and lymphocytes in NL between the two groups and along the study. Conclusions: Biomass burning induces changes in the first defense barrier of the respiratory system in urban and rural population. However, the magnitude of the nasal mucosa inflammation was greater in sugarcane workers compared with residents of the urban area. In addition, this study showed that in the first expositions of young healthy sugarcane workers, these negative effects on mucociliary function seem to be totally reversible. Sponsored Research - None