aDepartment of Occupational and Environmental Health, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 466-8550, Japan
bUnit of Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Life and Health Sciences, Chubu University, 1200 Matsumoto, Kasugai, Aichi 487-8501, Japan
cNutritional Health Science Research Center, Chubu University, 1200 Matsumoto, Kasugai, Aichi 487-8501, Japan
dVoluntary Body for International Health Care in Universities, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 466-8550, Japan
Received 22 June 2015. Revised 23 July 2015. Accepted 25 July 2015. Available online 12 August 2015.
CCA-treated wood was found in debris after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Carcinogenic risk of CCA-treated woods was evaluated with human lung cell lines.
Co-exposure to Cr and As synergistically promoted colony formation.
Co-exposure to Cr and As synergistically activated the PI3/AKT pathway.
Effects of sole exposure and co-exposure to Cu on colony formation were limited.
We showed that 2.1% of 233 pieces of lumber debris after the Great East Japan Earthquake was chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood. Since hexavalent chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and pentavalent arsenic (As) in the debris may be diffused in the air via incineration, we exposed human lung normal (BEAS-2B) and carcinoma (A549) cells to Cr, Cu and As at the molar ratio in a representative CCA-treated wood. Co-exposure to 0.10 μM Cr and 0.06 μM As, which solely had no effect on colony formation, synergistically promoted colony formation in BEAS-2B cells, but not A549 cells, with activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. Sole exposure and co-exposure to Cu showed limited effects. Since previous reports showed Cr and As concentrations to which human lungs might be exposed, our results suggest the importance to avoid diffusion of Cr and As in the air via incineration of debris including CCA-treated wood after the disaster.