Genotoxicity in adult residents in mineral coal region—a cross-sectional study
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The present study assessed the DNA damage in environmentally exposed volunteers living in seven municipalities in an industrial coal region, through the use of the comet assay with blood cells and the micronucleus test with buccal cells. Blood and buccal smears were collected from 320 male volunteers living in seven cities inserted in a coal region. They were ages of 18 and 50 years and also completed a questionnaire intended to identify factors associated with DNA damage through a Poisson regression analysis. The comet assay detected significant differences in DNA damage in volunteers from different municipalities, and neighboring cities (Pedras Altas, Aceguá, and Hulha Negra) had a higher level of DNA damage in relation to control city. Some of the risk factors associated with identified DNA lesions included residence time and life habits. On the other hand, the micronucleus test did not identify differences between the cities studied, but the regression analysis identified risk factors such as age and life habits (consumption of mate tea and low carbohydrates diet). We conclude that there are differences in the DNA damage of volunteers from different cities of the carboniferous region, but the presence of micronuclei in the oral mucosa does not differ between the same cities. Furthermore, we alert that some related factors may increase the risk of genotoxicity, such as residence location and time, and living and food habits. Finally, we suggest the need for continuous biomonitoring of the population, as well as for investing in health promotion in these vulnerable populations.
KeywordsGenotoxicity Mutagenicity Environmental exposure Coal mining activities
Compliance of ethical standards
The study protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee in Health at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande and approved with the opinion 036/2013 (CEPAS/FURG).
This study was funded by Companhia de Geração Térmica de Energia Elétrica CGTEE.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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