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Genet Mol Res. 2003 Dec 30;2(4):410-7.

Occupational genotoxicity risk evaluation through the comet assay and the micronucleus test.

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Escola de Medicina, Universidade Católica de Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brasil.


The micronucleus (MN) test and the alkaline single cell gel or comet assay were applied to exfoliated cells of the buccal mucous in order to evaluate the genotoxic risk associated with occupational exposure of 10 storage battery renovation workers, and 10 car painters, with age matched controls, in Pelotas, RS, in southern Brazil. In the MN test, 2000 exfoliated buccal cells were analyzed for each individual, while 100 cells were examined in the comet assay. In the comet test, both comet tail length and a damage index were calculated. Highly significant effects of occupational exposure were found with both the MN test and the comet assay (P<0.001). The comet assay was found to be rapid, of simple visualization, and it is a sensitive technique for measuring and analyzing DNA damage in human cells.

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