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Chemosphere. 2018 Feb;193:1058-1062. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.11.119. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Micronuclei and other nuclear anomalies in exfoliated buccal cells of urban solid waste collectors and recyclers in southern Brazil.

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Research Group on Human Health and Environment, Feevale University, Brazil.
Research Group on Human Health and Environment, Feevale University, Brazil. Electronic address:


Workers involved in urban solid waste collection may be exposed to various environmental contaminants, including chemical pollutants, which might be mutagenic and increase the risk of diseases such as cancer. Evaluation of DNA damage in workers in this field are still scarce. This study aims to evaluate mutagenic and cytotoxic effects in workers involved in the collection and segregation of urban solid waste generated in southern Brazil. Municipal solid waste collectors were recruited in two municipalities of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The control group was composed of workers of the education and commerce areas, with no exposure to known genotoxic agents. Slides of exfoliated buccal cells were analyzed to estimate the frequency of micronuclei (MN) as well as other nuclear abnormalities, such as broken-egg/bud, binucleation and karyorrhexis. The analyses of 44 workers and 45 control subjects have shown that the frequencies of MN, binucleated cells and karyorrhexis in the exposed workers were significantly higher than in the control group. In the exposed group, frequencies of MN and binucleated cells showed a significant positive correlation. The other cytogenetic parameters were not correlated among each other or with age and exposure time. These results indicate that the workers involved in urban solid waste collection are exposed to mutagenic and cytotoxic agents.


Genotoxicity; Micronucleus; Occupational exposure; Solid waste exposure

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