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The Effects of JP-8 Jet Fuel on the Immune System of Tank Entry Workers

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Master's thesis

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Jet fuel is a common occupational exposure among commercial and military maintenance workers. JP-8 jet fuel, a military formulation, has been found to have immunotoxic effects in mice but little data exists for humans. The aim of this cross- sectional study was to determine if the number of immune cells in the peripheral blood was altered among tank entry workers, a group which has been determined in previous studies to have the highest exposure to JP-8 in the U.S Air Force. A total of 123 volunteers 45 tank entry workers from three Air Force bases participated in the study. After adjusting for a number of covariates, tank entry workers were found to have higher numbers of white blood cells pO.Ol, neutrophils pO.05, and monocytes pO.02 and no differences in the numbers of total lymphocytes, T-cells, T-helper cells, T- suppressor cells, Natural Killer cells, and B-cells when compared with a low exposure group. Tank entry workers did not show any clinical effects of the increased immune cell counts. Although there were no differences in the number of lymphocytes among study groups, further investigations are needed to evaluate the functional ability of these cells to produce lymphokines and cytokines and modulate the immune system.

Subject Categories:

  • Aircraft
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Toxicology

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