Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Sister Chromatid Exchanges and Micronuclei in Peripheral Lymphocytes of Shoe Factory Workers Exposed to Solvents. (Articles)

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Sister Chromatid Exchanges and Micronuclei in Peripheral Lymphocytes of Shoe Factory Workers Exposed to Solvents. (Articles)

Article excerpt

We examined sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and micronuclei (MN; cytokinesis-block method) in cultured peripheral lymphocytes from 52 female workers of two shoe factories and from 36 unexposed age- and sex-matched referents. The factory workers showed an elevated level of urinary hippuric acid, a biomarker of toluene exposure, and workplace air contained high concentrations of various organic solvents such as toluene, gasoline, acetone, and (in one of the plants only) ethylacetate and methylenediphenyl diisocyanate. The shoe factory workers showed a statistically significant higher frequency of micronucleated binucleate lymphocytes in comparison with the referents. This finding agreed with three preliminary MN determinations (each comprising 27-32 shoe workers and 16-20 controls) performed in one of the plants 2-5 years earlier. The shoe factory workers also had a lower average level of blood hemoglobin than the referents. In contrast, no difference was found between the groups in SCE analysis. Smokers showed significantly higher mean frequencies of SCEs per cell and high frequency cells (HFC) than nonsmokers. Aging was associated with increased MN rates and reduced cell proliferation. Polymorphism of the glutathione S-transferase M1 gene (GSTM1) did not affect the individual level of SCEs; but in smoking shoe workers an effect of the occupational exposure on the frequency of micronucleated cells could be seen only in GSTM1 null subjects. The low prevalence of the glutathione S-transferase T1 (GSTT1) null genotype precluded the evaluation of the influence of GSTT1 polymorphism. Our results show that the shoe factory workers have experienced genotoxic exposure, which is manifest as an increase in the frequency of MN, but not of SCEs, in peripheral lymphocytes. The exposures responsible for the MN induction could not be identified with certainty, but exposure to benzene in gasoline and methylenediphenyl diisocyanate may explain some of the findings. Key words: glutathione S-transferase M1, glutathione S-transferase T1, micronuclei assays, shoe factory workers, sister chromatid exchange assays, solvent exposure. Environ Health Perspect 110:399-404 (2002). [Online 11 March 2002]

http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2002 /110p399-404pitarque/abstract.html

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During the last few years, genotoxicity biomarkers have received considerable interest as tools for detecting human genotoxic exposure and effects, especially in health surveillance programs dealing with occupational exposure to chemical carcinogens. Currently, only cytogenetic end points in peripheral blood lymphocytes allow a reasonable epidemiologic evaluation of cancer predictivity. The largest databases are available for chromosomal aberrations (CA); high CA level has been associated with increased cancer risk (1,2). Evaluations have also been performed for lymphocyte sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and micronuclei (MN), but thus far these biomarkers have not been shown to predict cancer (1,2). These findings may reflect the relatively small databases, the comparatively young cohorts, and variation in techniques, which have made it difficult to standardize individual SCE and MN values obtained from different sources. In a few years, accumulation of more uniform data will make it possible to reassess the value of both SCEs and MN. In the meantime, SCEs and MN are used as biomarkers of genotoxic exposure, as simpler alternatives to CA analysis. In the present study, we applied these methods to monitor solvent-exposed workers from two Bulgarian shoe factories.

People employed in the shoemaking industry are at an increased risk of leukemia and nasal cancer (3), and an excess of mortality due to other types of cancer has also been reported (4-6). Workers in shoe and boot factories are exposed to a mixture of organic solvents, among which toluene and acetone are usually the most common. …

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