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Multiple factors influence telomere length and DNA damage in individuals residing in proximity to a coal-burning power plant
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  • Melissa Rosa de Souza,
  • Ana Garcia,
  • Daiana Dalberto,
  • Juliana Picinini,
  • Luciana Touguinha,
  • Mirian Salvador,
  • Juliana da Silva
Melissa Rosa de Souza
Lutheran University of Brazil

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ana Garcia
Lutheran University of Brazil
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Daiana Dalberto
Lutheran University of Brazil
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Juliana Picinini
Lutheran University of Brazil
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Luciana Touguinha
UCS
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Mirian Salvador
UCS
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Juliana da Silva
Lutheran University of Brazil
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Abstract

Coal is a mixture of several chemicals, many of which have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects and are a key contributor to the global burden of mortality and disease. Previous studies suggest that coal is related to telomeric shortening in individuals occupationally exposed, however little is known about the effects of mining and burning coal on the telomeres of individuals living nearby. Therefore, the primary objective of this investigation was to assess the impact of proximity to coal power plants and coal mines on the genomic instability of individuals, while also exploring potential associations with individual characteristics, oxidative stress, inflammatory responses, and the presence of inorganic elements. This study involved 80 men participants from three cities around a thermoelectric power plant and one city unexposed to coal and byproducts. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples obtained from each participant, and the length of telomeres (TL) was assessed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methodology. No significant difference was observed between exposed individuals (6,227 ± 2,884 bp) when compared to the unexposed group (5,638 ± 2,452 bp). Nevertheless, TL decrease was associated with age and risk for cardiovascular disease. Longer telomere length was found to be linked with increased concentrations of Si and P in blood samples. No correlations were observed between TL with comet assay, micronucleus test, oxidative stress, and inflammatory results. Additional research is required to ascertain the potential correlation between these changes and the onset of diseases and premature mortality.