Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Ann Marie DiLorenzo

Committee Member

Lee H. Lee

Committee Member

Mary Lou Gubler


The World Trade Center (WTC) attack on September 11th, 2001 was the biggest terrorist attack that has ever occurred in New York City. About 3,000 people died on September 11th, 2001 and more than 6,000 were injured including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services and military personnel. The building collapse generated a huge cloud of dust and first responders have suffered from long-term lung related illnesses. The present study evaluated three questions: 1.) does WTC dust treatment of MRC-5 lung fibroblasts induce an inflammatory response as evidenced by the production of nitric oxide? 2.) Do heavy metals such as Copper or Manganese (two major components of WTC dust) affect lung fibroblast viability and induce oxidative stress? 3.) What are the possible effects of EGCG-S (green tea, GT) on these cellular inflammatory processes? The results showed that the World Trade Center Dust treatment did induce Nitric Oxide (NO) production, indicative of an inflammatory response. Manganese (Mn) or Copper (Cu) treatment decreased cell viability and increased ROS production. Treatment with EGCG-S demonstrated the generation of intracellular ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Manganese-induced ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) activation was potentiated in the presence of EGCG-S.

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