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DNA damage in persons occupationally exposed to physical and chemical genotoxic agents

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.16, No 1, 2020

DNA damage in persons occupationally exposed to physical and chemical genotoxic agents

Pajic J1, Milovanovic A2,3, Kekus D4, Basanets A5, Milovanovic A PS1,3

1 Serbian Institute of Occupational Health “Dr Dragomir Karajovic”

2 Clinical Center of Serbia, Clinic of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,

3 Belgrade University School of medicine

4 Academy for applied studies, Belgrade College of Health Studies

5 Kundiiev Institute of Occupational Health of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine

Full article (PDF), ENG

Introduction. Most human genotoxic exposures include interaction of physical and/or chemical genotoxic compounds with genetic material and occur in occupational settings.

This study was conducted in order to evaluate genetic damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes of workers exposed to physical (ionizing radiation) or chemical genotoxic agents (antineoplastic drugs, pesticides) by means of chromosomal aberration and cytochalasine block micronucleus test and to compare their DNA status with unexposed control subjects matched by age and gender.

Materials and research methods. The study population comprised of 127 blood donors: 30 - the control group; 32 - exposed to pesticides, 32 - exposed to antineoplastic drugs and 33 - exposed to radiation. The exposed groups included workers from the agricultural industry, chemotherapy and radiology departments of Serbian hospitals, occupationally exposed to pesticides, antineoplastic drugs or X-rays daily and continually for 5–30 years, respectively. Chromosomal aberrations and micronucleus tests and following cytogenetic slide analyses were performed as described by Fenech (2007), using standard protocols given in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical report (2011).

Results. Statistically significant differences were found between male and female subjects in the control and exposed groups for total number of malignant neoplasm (MN). Smoking status and age were without influence on cytogenetic parameters in all analyzed groups. Analysis of cytogenetic damage parameters showed lower mean values of almost all parameters in the control (unexposed) as compared to the exposed groups, regardless of the exposure agent. A correlation analysis showed significant positive correlations between the duration of the occupational exposure and almost all tested cytogenetic parameters, with the strongest relation between DOE-tMN and DOE-tAC variables.

Conclusion. The results showed influences of gender, occurrence, and duration of exposure on the extent of a cytogenetic damage, but no influence of smoking and age. The obtained data encourage us to consider cytogenetic parameters as valuable markers for preventive medical screening as the extent of cytogenetic damage reflects cumulative exposure events and possible health consequences related to chronic occupational genotoxic exposure.

Key words: chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei, antineoplastic drugs, pesticides, ionizing radiation


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