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Mutagenesis. 2015 Jul;30(4):463-73. doi: 10.1093/mutage/gev002. Epub 2015 Feb 22.

Increased levels of chromosomal aberrations and DNA damage in a group of workers exposed to formaldehyde.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Health, Rua Alexandre Herculano nº 321, Porto 4000-055, Portugal Epidemiology Research Unit - Institute of Public Health (EPIUnit), University of Porto, Rua das Taipas nº135, Porto 4050-600, Portugal solange.costa2@gmail.com.
2
Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Health, Rua Alexandre Herculano nº 321, Porto 4000-055, Portugal.
3
Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Health, Rua Alexandre Herculano nº 321, Porto 4000-055, Portugal Epidemiology Research Unit - Institute of Public Health (EPIUnit), University of Porto, Rua das Taipas nº135, Porto 4050-600, Portugal.
4
Toxomics, NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Edifício CEDOC II, Rua Câmara Pestana nº 6, Lisboa 1150-082, Portugal Department of Health Sciences, Portuguese Catholic University, Estrada da Circunvalação, Viseu 3504-505, Portugal.
5
Toxomics, NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Edifício CEDOC II, Rua Câmara Pestana nº 6, Lisboa 1150-082, Portugal.
6
Laboratory of Cytogenetics, Abel Salazar Institute for Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS), Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira n.º 228, Porto 4050-313, Portugal.
7
DICOMOSA Group, Department of Psychology, Area of Psychobiology, Universidade da Coruña, Campus Elviña s/n, A Coruña 15071, Spain.

Abstract

Formaldehyde (FA) is a commonly used chemical in anatomy and pathology laboratories as a tissue preservative and fixative. Because of its sensitising properties, irritating effects and cancer implication, FA accounts probably for the most important chemical-exposure hazard concerning this professional group. Evidence for genotoxic effects and carcinogenic properties in humans is insufficient and conflicting, particularly in regard to the ability of inhaled FA to induce toxicity on other cells besides first contact tissues, such as buccal and nasal cells. To evaluate the effects of exposure to FA in human peripheral blood lymphocytes, a group of 84 anatomy pathology laboratory workers exposed occupationally to FA and 87 control subjects were tested for chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and DNA damage (comet assay). The level of exposure to FA in the workplace air was evaluated. The association between genotoxicity biomarkers and polymorphic genes of xenobiotic-metabolising and DNA repair enzymes were also assessed. The estimated mean level of FA exposure was 0.38±0.03 ppm. All cytogenetic endpoints assessed by CAs test and comet assay % tail DNA (%TDNA) were significantly higher in FA-exposed workers compared with controls. Regarding the effect of susceptibility biomarkers, results suggest that polymorphisms in CYP2E1 and GSTP1 metabolic genes, as well as, XRCC1 and PARP1 polymorphic genes involved in DNA repair pathways are associated with higher genetic damage in FA-exposed subjects. Data obtained in this study show a potential health risk situation of anatomy pathology laboratory workers exposed to FA (0.38 ppm). Implementation of security and hygiene measures may be crucial to decrease risk. The obtained information may also provide new important data to be used by health care programs and by governmental agencies responsible for occupational health and safety.

PMID:
25711496
DOI:
10.1093/mutage/gev002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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