The Effect of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Human A549 Cells
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Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease affecting people of all ages and most studied in children and the elderly. This disease causes swelling of the lung’s airways leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Many different factors can trigger an asthma attack including, but not limited to, tobacco smoke, mold, weather changes and outdoor air pollution. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) comprise a large portion of air pollution. They are a class of chemicals formed during incomplete combustion reactions, and found in the ambient environment. In this experiment human A549 lung cells were exposed to 5 PAHs, Benzo[a]pyrene, Pyrene, Fluoranthene, Acenaphthylene, and Phenanthrene, and evaluated for viability, proliferation, and inflammatory response. Results indicate that PAHs have a detrimental effect on cell growth and viability. Overall viability results indicated cells were more damaged than solvent controls throughout the treatments and for certain dosing regimens the proliferation was inhibited.