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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2002 Mar;259(3):150-3.

Genotoxicity studies on permethrin, DEET and diazinon in primary human nasal mucosal cells.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Federal Armed Forces Hospital, Ulm, Germany.


Possible genotoxic effects exerted by three widely used pesticides, permethrin, N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) and diazinon, in primary human nasal mucosal cells were investigated. Primary nasal mucosa cells were prepared from tissue biopsies taken from 21 patients who underwent nasal surgery. Cells were exposed to 0.5-1.0 mM concentrations of permethrin, DEET and diazinon for 60 min. Genotoxic effects were detected by the alkaline microgel electrophoresis assay ("comet assay"). Within the concentration range, no significant cytotoxic effects were observed, but all three tested pesticides showed a significant genotoxic response that was concentration dependent. More pronounced genotoxic effects were observed in mucosal cells from the middle turbinate than in the inferior turbinate. The results provide some evidence for the potential carcinogenicity of these agents to human nasal mucosal cells. This should be further investigated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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