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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

versión On-line ISSN 1989-7790versión impresa ISSN 0465-546X


ZUBIZARRETA SOLA, Aroa et al. Literature Review on the Harmful Effects of Occupational Exposure to Hydrocarbons on Workers in External Environments. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2018, vol.64, n.252, pp.271-294. ISSN 1989-7790.


Traffic officers, drivers and other professionals previously exposed to other environmental traffic hydrocarbons, are acutely and chronically exposed to multiple hazardous substances that can affect health. These toxics are present in environmental pollution. In the literature reviewed, neither protocols nor PPEs have been found for these professions, which highlight the need to be taken into consideration. In this article, the existing evidence regarding the adverse health effects due to the exposure to hydrocarbons in external working environments is reviewed.


To determine the existing scientific evidence in literature about the biological effects of the work-related chronic exposure to environmental hydrocarbons in jobs exposed to traffic (and/or surrounded by PAHs).

Materials and Methods:

25 articles have been compiled from Bibliographic research in Pubmed, Toxnet, Scopus, Embase, and institutional websites.


Changes and harmful biological effects due to exposure to environmental hydrocarbons (most of them caused by traffic) and the presence of metabolites in the biological analyses of exposed workers have been evidenced. Such effects have affected both the reproductive and cardiovascular systems and even DNA repair.


Adverse effects on the organism due to environmental exposure in the workplace seem to take place. Significant statistical association was found in the decrease of DNA repair and in the increase of metabolites related with hydrocarbons in blood and urine.

Palabras clave : Hydrocarbons; PAHs; biomarkers; metabolites; traffic officers; taxi drivers; drivers; traffic; occupational exposure.

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