Study of the cytogenetic effects of occupationalexposure to pesticides on sanitation workersin Belo Horizonte, Brazil

F.S.G. Kehdy, E.M.M. Cerqueira, M.B. Bonjardim, R.M. Camelo, M.C.L. Castro
Published September 30, 2007
Genet. Mol. Res. 6 (3): 581-593 (2007)

About the authors
F.S.G. Kehdy, E.M.M. Cerqueira, M.B. Bonjardim, R.M. Camelo, M.C.L. Castro

Corresponding author
F.S.G. Kehdy


Sanitation workers handling pesticides in the control of disease vectors constitute an occupationally exposed population to genotoxic substances. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relation between the occupational exposure to various pesticides and the presence of cytogenetic damage. Fifty-nine men were selected (29 sanitation workers and 30 control individuals) with ages varying between 18-57 years who lived and worked in the same area in Belo Horizonte (Brazil). The following parameters were determined for all individuals using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (MN) assay in peripheral blood lymphocytes: MN/1000 binucleated cells (BC), BC with MN (BCMN)/1000 BC, nucleoplasmic bridges (NB)/1000 BC, apoptotic and necrotic cells/500 cells and nuclear division index. The analysis of covariance showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) mean frequencies of MN (15.81 ± 1.31 vs 4.71 ± 0.42), BCMN (15.10 ± 1.22 vs 4.62 ± 0.44), NB (4.59 ± 0.76 vs 1.00 ± 0.34), and necrotic cells (12.07 ± 1.45 vs 5.17 ± 0.70) in the exposed group when compared to the control group. There was no significant difference in the apoptotic cell frequency between the two groups, while the nuclear division index was significantly lower (1.49 ± 0.02 vs 1.61 ± 0.02) in the control group. Neither the time of exposure nor the smoking or alcohol drinking habit influenced the cytogenetic parameters examined. According to these results, occupational exposure to pesticides induced genotoxic and cytotoxic effects in sanitation workers.

Key words: Pesticide exposure, Biomonitoring, Micronucleus test, Sanitation workers

Back To Top