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Micronucleus frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes and buccal mucosa cells of copper smelter workers, with special regard to arsenic exposure
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2007 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, Vol. 80, no 5, 371-380 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Occupational exposure in copper smelters may produce various adverse health effects including cancer which, according to available epidemiologic data, is associated mainly with exposure to arsenic. Despite a number of well-documented studies reporting an increased risk of cancer among copper smelters workers, the data on genotoxic effects in this industry are scarce. In view of the above, an assessment of micronuclei (MN) frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes and buccal epithelial cells from copper smelter workers was undertaken. Additionally, the clastogenic/aneugenic effect in lymphocytes was assessed with the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The study was conducted in three copper smelters in southwestern Poland. The subjects (n = 72) were enrolled among male workers at departments where As concentration in the air was up to at 80 μg/m3. Exposure was assessed by measurement of arsenic concentration in urine and toenail samples. The control group (n = 83) was recruited from healthy male individuals living in central Poland who did not report any exposure to known genotoxins. The results of our study showed a significant increase in MN frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes and in buccal epithelial cells of smelter workers, compared to the controls (7.96 ± 4.28 vs. 3.47 ± 1.70 and 0.98 ± 0.76 vs. 0.50 ± 0.52, respectively). The FISH technique revealed the presence of clastogenic and aneugenic effects in peripheral blood lymphocytes in both groups. The clastogenic effect was slightly more pronounced in the smelter workers; however, the difference was not statistically significant. The mean arsenic concentrations in urine (total arsenic species) and in toenail samples in the exposed group were 54.04 ± 42.26 μg/l and 7.63 ± 7.24 μg/g, respectively, being significantly different from control group 11.01 ± 10.84 μg/l and 0.51 ± 0.05 μg/g. No correlation between As content in urine or toenail samples and the genotoxic effect was found under study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 80, no 5, 371-380 p.
Keyword [en]
Arsenic, Occupational exposure, Micronucleus test, Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31911DOI: 10.1007/s00420-006-0130-7OAI: diva2:278987
Available from: 2009-12-01 Created: 2009-12-01 Last updated: 2009-12-03Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Robert
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Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology
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