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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

DMSO, BUT NOT WATER, CAN EXTRACT COMPOUNDS FROM TURF FIELD INFILL THAT ACTIVATE THE ARYL HYDROCARBON RECEPTOR

Abstract

The use of infill beads made of ground rubber for turf athletic fields has raised concerns that prolonged exposure may increase cancer risk, especially for athletes who play frequently on these fields. Vulcanized rubber, such as that found in tires, is known to contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g., B[a]P) that promote DNA mutations. Exposure to aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands activates CYP1A1 expression and the subsequent metabolism of B[a]P to its highly-mutagenic diol-epoxide form. Previous studies indicate increased AhR activity with DMSO extracts of ground tire infill. This study compares the components of different field infills, one using only black ground tire rubber and another using a mixture of black ground tire rubber and green rubber beads. Mouse hepatocytes were treated with infill extracts made with water or DMSO. AhR activity was determined using a CYP1A1-promoter luciferase reporter assay. Some samples were co-treated with the bioflavonoid, quercetin, an inhibitor of the AhR. DMSO extracts made from black-rubber-only infill expressed a 14.1-fold increase (p <0.001) in AhR activity. The DMSO extracts made from black tire-rubber in the mixed infill increased AhR activity 17.3-fold (p <0.001), while the DMSO extracts made from the green rubber beads from the mixed infill increased 19.5-fold (p <0.001). Quercetin treatments decreased AhR activation in all DMSO infill samples (74%, 75%, and 85%, respectively). None of the bead extracts made with water activated AhR activity. These data suggest that, while AhR agonists are present in the turf infill tested, water is less likely than DMSO to extract these compounds as a delivery pathway to people using these fields.

Acknowledgements

Young Harris College Undergraduate Research for the Common Good Fund

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