Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Biology

Committee Chairperson

Shishir Shishodia

Committee Co-Chairperson

Jason Rosenzweig

Committee Member 1

Ayodotun Sodipe

Committee Member 2

Daniel Vrinceanu


cancer, House Dust, inflammation, oxidative stress, Urban Dust


Indoor dust stands out as a burgeoning challenge in society due to its implication on people’s health. Exposure to toxic dust particles occurs in different ways that include inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. In the hindsight, many people spend most of their time indoors exposing themselves to high levels of dust. Notably, different groups of individuals present varied risk levels to the toxicity of particles with vulnerable persons being susceptible to adverse effects of these contaminants. This includes the elderly, children, and immunocompromised individuals. The study examines the impacts of two variables that are trace elements (TMD) and organic contaminants (OD) on a normal human colon cell (CCD841) that is exposed to indoor dust. In this case, cultures of the cells were made and treated with varying concentrations of TMD and OD. Then, different factors were observed to highlight the impact of each sample on the cultured cells. Consecutively, viability, apoptosis, cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammation were observed. The methods used in the experiment included the performance of MTT assay, protease cell viability, apoptosis 3/7 caspase, LDH release, reactive oxygen species, and inflammasome caspase-1 assay. In this case, two variables were treated to these experiments while varying their concentrations. The findings indicated significant figures when both variables had higher concentrations. This supported the research hypothesis where prolonged exposure to indoor dust results in huge damage to the body, specifically the normal colon cells for this study. The research points out to the importance of averting indoor air pollution. The effects of indoor dust samples in activation of oxidative stress by measuring the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), was noticeable which suggest weakening the immune system, and the human body becomes an easy target to invade. Inflammasome-Caspase-1 also was induced when being exposed by both dust samples. Although, both variables TMD and OD have a positive correlation, The results shows that a significant change in the culture cells meant an increase in the concentration of both TMD and OD, and it is hard to be determined which one of these two samples is more toxic to normal human colon cells; but if they both are combined and penetrate at a cellular level, there is a high chance to cause a serious harm.