Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Nov 12;11(11):4511-25. doi: 10.3390/ijms11114511.

The role of molecular biology in the biomonitoring of human exposure to chemicals.

Author information

1
Departamento de Toxicología, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Av. IPN 2508, México, DF 07360, Mexico; E-Mail: rbmunoz@cinvestav.mx.

Abstract

Exposure to different substances in an occupational environment is of utmost concern to global agencies such as the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization. Interest in improving work health conditions, particularly of those employees exposed to noxious chemicals, has increased considerably and has stimulated the search for new, more specific and selective tests. Recently, the field of molecular biology has been indicated as an alternative technique for monitoring personnel while evaluating work-related pathologies. Originally, occupational exposure to environmental toxicants was assessed using biochemical techniques to determine the presence of higher concentrations of toxic compounds in blood, urine, or other fluids or tissues; results were used to evaluate potential health risk. However, this approach only estimates the presence of a noxious chemical and its effects, but does not prevent or diminish the risk. Molecular biology methods have become very useful in occupational medicine to provide more accurate and opportune diagnostics. In this review, we discuss the role of the following common techniques: (1) Use of cell cultures; (2) evaluation of gene expression; (3) the "omic" sciences (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and (4) bioinformatics. We suggest that molecular biology has many applications in occupational health where the data can be applied to general environmental conditions.

KEYWORDS:

biological monitoring; molecular biology; occupational toxicology

PMID:
21151453
PMCID:
PMC3000097
DOI:
10.3390/ijms11114511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center