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Environ Int. 2018 Aug;117:69-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.04.027. Epub 2018 May 1.

Genomic instability in adult men involved in processing electronic waste in Northern China.

Author information

1
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Tianjin, China.
2
Department of Biology at Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.
3
Tianjin Institute of Medical and Pharmaceutical Science, Tianjin, China.
4
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Tianjin, China. Electronic address: liuqiang@irm-cams.ac.cn.
5
Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Tianjin, China. Electronic address: xuchang@irm-cams.ac.cn.
6
Department of Biology at Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China. Electronic address: lig@tmu.edu.cn.
7
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada; Department of Zoology, and Center for Integrative Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA; School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
8
School of the Environment & Sustainability and Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Managing and recycling electronic waste (e-waste), while useful and necessary, has resulted in significant contamination of several environments in China. The area around Tianjin, China has become one of the world's largest e-waste disposal centers, where electronics are processed by manually disassembly or burning, which can result in serious exposure of workers to a multitude of toxicants.

OBJECTIVE:

The present study assessed potential genomic damage in workers involved in recycling e-waste.

METHODS:

To detect cytogenetic and DNA damage, chromosomal aberrations (CA), cytokinesis blocking micronucleus (CBMN) and the comet assay were performed. Concentrations of some trace elements, markers of oxidative stress and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in whole blood or serum were measured, and relationships among the markers described above, age, and duration of exposure were analyzed. The profiles of expression of genes in lymphocytes in peripheral blood were assessed to determine the status of the regulation of genes involved in genome stability.

RESULTS:

Concentrations of 28 PCB congeners in the whole blood of the exposed group were significantly (P<0.001) greater than those in the control individuals. Frequency of CA (8.01%) and CBMN (26.3‰) in lymphocytes and the level of DNA damage in the lymphocytes and spermatozoa of the exposed men were also significantly (P<0.0001) greater than those of the controls. There were significant relationships between CA, CBMN, DNA damage and duration of exposure. Concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) and lead (Pb) in the blood serum were significantly greater, but activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) and concentrations of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) were lower in the serum of the exposed men. MDA, Pb, Ca and Mg were associated with the duration of exposure to handling e-waste. In males involved in handling of e-waste, there were 13 genes - ATM, ATR, ABL1, CHEK1, CHEK2, GADD45A, CDK7, GTSE1, OGG1, DDB1, PRKDC, XRCC1 and CCNH - for which expression of mRNA was up-regulated and 7 genes - BRCA1, GTF2H1, SEMA4A, MRE11A, MUTYH, PNKP and RAD50 - for which the expression of mRNA was down-regulated.

CONCLUSIONS:

A strong correlation between indicators of damage of DNA, which could result in instability of the genome, and duration of processing e-waste was observed. If proper procedures are not followed, there are significant risks to the health of the individuals involved in such activities.

KEYWORDS:

DNA damage; E-waste; Environment pollution; PCB congeners; Pb

PMID:
29727754
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2018.04.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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