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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Filipa Esteves; Klara Slezakova; Joana Madureira; Josiana Vaz; Adília Fernandes; Simone Morais; Maria do Carmo Pereira; João Paulo Teixeira; Solange Costa
Publication Date: 2024

The characterization of wildland firefighters’ occupational exposure must consider different exposures, including those at the fire station. The present study aimed to characterize the occupational exposure of 172 Northern Portuguese wildland firefighters in fire stations during the pre-wildfire season of 2021. The biological impact of estimated inhaled doses of PM10 and PM2.5 (indoor/outdoor) was accessed through a buccal micronucleus cytome (BMCyt) assay in exfoliated buccal cells of a subgroup of 80 firefighters. No significant association was found between estimated inhaled doses of PM10 and PM2.5 (mean 1.73 ± 0.43 µg kg−1 and 0.53 ± 0.21 µg kg−1, respectively) and biological endpoints. However, increased frequencies of cell death parameters were found among subjects of the Permanent Intervention Teams (full-time firefighters). The intake of nutritional supplements was associated with a significant decrease in micronucleus frequencies (i.e., DNA damage or chromosome breakage). In addition, our findings showed a significantly increased frequency of cell death endpoints (i.e., nuclear fragmentation) with coffee consumption, while daily consumption of vegetables significantly decreased it (i.e., nuclear shrinkage). Our results provide data on the occupational exposure of wildland firefighters while working in fire stations during the pre-wildfire season, providing the essential baseline for further studies throughout the wildfire season.

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Citation: Esteves, Filipa; Slezakova, Klara; Madureira, Joana; Vaz, Josiana; Fernandes, Adília; Morais, Simone; Pereira, Maria do Carmo; Teixeira, João Paulo; Costa, Solange. 2024. Firefighters' occupational exposure in preparation for wildfire season: addressing biological impact. Toxics 12(3):201.

Cataloging Information

  • biomonitoring
  • buccal micronucleus assay
  • firefighters
  • health
  • inhaled dose
  • non-invasive sampling
  • PM - particulate matter
  • PM2.5
  • Portugal
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 69164