Relationship between indium exposure and oxidative damage in workers in indium tin oxide production plants

Hung Hsin Liu, Chang Yun Chen, Gun Ing Chen, Lien Hsiung Lee, Hsiu Ling Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The study aimed to assess the relationship between indium exposure and surfactant protein and any oxidative damage in indium tin oxide (ITO)-exposed workers. The study was conducted in two typical ITO-manufacturing plants in Taiwan. One hundred and seventy manufacturing workers and 132 administrators were recruited. The geometric mean serum indium (S-In) level in the workers of the manufacturing department was 1.26 μg/l, which was significantly higher than those in the administrative department (0.72 μg/l). The S-In levels of 49 workers were higher than 3 μg/l (49/302, 16.2%), exceeding an occupational exposure limit suggested by the Japan Society for Occupational Health. Significant positive relationships were found between S-In and surfactant protein A (SP-A), and surfactant protein D (SP-D) levels. SP-A and SP-D levels were elevated significantly in the workers with moderately high indium exposure. The present study indicates a significant elevating trend of SP-A and SP-D levels in ITO-manufacturing workers, which are sensitive markers of interstitial lung disease. Though the indium exposure is not directly linked to all indicators of oxidative DNA damage, the ITO-manufacturing workplace is suggested to be related to oxidative DNA damage for the workers in the current study. Therefore, in addition to the indium exposure, there might be other occupational hazards in the ITO workplace to cause oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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