Soot-driven reactive oxygen species formation from incense burning

Hsiao Chi Chuang, Tim P. Jones, Shih Chun C Lung, Kelly A. BéruBé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated as a function of the physicochemistry of incense particulate matter (IPM), diesel exhaust particles (DEP) and carbon black (CB). Microscopical and elemental analyses were used to determine particle morphology and inorganic compounds. ROS was determined using the reactive dye, Dichlorodihydrofluorescin (DCFH), and the Plasmid Scission Assay (PSA), which determine DNA damage. Two common types of soot were observed within IPM, including nano-soot and micro-soot, whereas DEP and CB mainly consisted of nano-soot. These PM were capable of causing oxidative stress in a dose-dependent manner, especially IPM and DEP. A dose of IPM (36.6-102.3. μg/ml) was capable of causing 50% oxidative DNA damage. ROS formation was positively correlated to smaller nano-soot aggregates and bulk metallic compounds, particularly Cu. These observations have important implications for respiratory health given that inflammation has been recognised as an important factor in the development of lung injury/diseases by oxidative stress. This study supports the view that ROS formation by combustion-derived PM is related to PM physicochemistry, and also provides new data for IPM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4781-4787
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CB
  • DEP
  • Incense
  • Physicochemistry
  • ROS
  • Soot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering


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