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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2013;76(14):874-82. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2013.826566.

In vitro adverse effects of iron ore dusts on human lymphoblastoid cells in culture.

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a Department of Environmental Health Science, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine , Tulane University , New Orleans , Louisiana , USA.


The aim of this study was to investigate the adverse effects produced by four types of iron (Fe) ore dust using cultured human cells. Genotoxicity and cytotoxicity induced by Fe ore dusts were determined by assays including cytokinesis block micronucleus (CBMN), population growth, and methyl tetrazolium (MTT). Four iron ore dusts were tested, namely, 1002 Limonite & Goethite (1002), HG2 hematite (HG2), HG1 Soutlem Pit (HG1), and HG4. WIL2 -NS cells were incubated for 10 h with extracts from a range of concentrations (0, 75, or 150 μg/ml) of Fe ore dust. Significant decreases in percent cell viability were seen at 150 μg/ml HG2 and 1002 as measured by MTT, with viability that decreased to 75 and 73%, respectively, compared to untreated controls. The cell population regrew to a different extent after Fe ore dust was removed, except for HG1, where population remained declined. An approximately twofold significant increase in the frequency of micronucleated binucleated cells (MNBNC) was seen with 1002, HG2, and HG1 at 150 μg/ml. A significant rise in apoptosis induction was observed at 150 μg/ml HG1. Data indicate that Fe ore dusts at 150 μg/ml produced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity.

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