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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2010;11(4):875-80.

DNA damage induction and repair inhibition among building construction workers in South India.

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Department of Biotechnology, Karpagam University, Coimbatore, India.


Construction industry workers are exposed to many known carcinogens in their complex occupational environment. Since there are no past studies on genotoxicity among this group in the Indian subcontinent, workers engaged in different construction sites at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, were assessed here. We enrolled 96 workers and 68 control subjects with similar mean age, smoking, tobacco chewing prevalence and alcohol consumption, for analysis of DNA damage in blood leucocytes by micronucleus (MN) and comet assays. DNA repair inhibition was also analyzed by assessing the XPD gene. Construction workers showed a significant increase in MN and comet tail length compared to controls with adjustment for smoking habits, tobacco chewing, alcohol consumption and years of exposure (P<0.05). The results indicated that chronic occupational exposure to cement during construction work could lead to increased levels of DNA damage and repair inhibition.

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