Exposure to traffic pollution, acute inflammation and autonomic response in a panel of car commuters.


<h4>Background</h4>Exposure to traffic pollution has been linked to numerous adverse health endpoints. Despite this, limited data examining traffic exposures during realistic commutes and acute response exists.<h4>Objectives</h4>We conducted the Atlanta Commuters Exposures (ACE-1) Study, an extensive panel-based exposure and health study, to measure chemically-resolved in-vehicle exposures and corresponding changes in acute oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, pulmonary and systemic inflammation and autonomic response.<h4>Methods</h4>We recruited 42 adults (21 with and 21 without asthma) to conduct two 2-h scripted highway commutes during morning rush hour in the metropolitan Atlanta area. A suite of in-vehicle particulate components were measured in the subjects' private vehicles. Biomarker measurements were conducted before, during, and immediately after the commutes and in 3 hourly intervals after commutes.<h4>Results</h4>At measurement time points within 3h after the commute, we observed mild to pronounced elevations relative to baseline in exhaled nitric oxide, C-reactive-protein, and exhaled malondialdehyde, indicative of pulmonary and systemic inflammation and oxidative stress initiation, as well as decreases relative to baseline levels in the time-domain heart-rate variability parameters, SDNN and rMSSD, indicative of autonomic dysfunction. We did not observe any detectable changes in lung function measurements (FEV1, FVC), the frequency-domain heart-rate variability parameter or other systemic biomarkers of vascular injury. Water soluble organic carbon was associated with changes in eNO at all post-commute time-points (p&lt;0.0001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results point to measureable changes in pulmonary and autonomic biomarkers following a scripted 2-h highway commute.