According to global estimates, at least 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis resulting from occupational exposure. Chrysotile accounts for approximately 90% of asbestos used worldwide. Artificial substitutes can also be cytotoxic to the same degree as chrysotile. But only a few researchers focused on their genetic effects and mutagenicity information which is useful in evaluating the carcinogenicity of chemicals. In this study, chrysotile from Mangnai, Qinghai, China, and an artificial substitute, rock wool fiber were prepared as suspensions and were tested at concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 μg/ml in V79 lung fibroblasts. Chromosome aberrations were detected by micronucleus assay after exposure for 24 h, and DNA damage were estimated by single cell gel electrophoresis after exposure for 12, 24, or 48 h. According to the results, chrysotile and rock wool fibers caused micronuclei to form in a dose-dependent manner in V79 cells; olive tail moment values increased in a dose- and time-dependent manner. When V79 cells were exposed to a concentration of 200 μg/ml, the degree of DNA damage induced by chrysotile fibers was greater than rock wool fibers. Our study suggests that both chrysotile and rock wool fibers could induce chromosome aberrations and DNA damage. These materials are worthy of further study.
Chrysotile Rock wool fibers Mutagenicity Single cell gel electrophoresis Micronucleus test
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The authors wish to thank Donald L. Hill (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA), an experienced, English-speaking scientific editor, for editing.
Compliance with ethical standards
This research was funded by the Key Program of National Nature Science Project of China (No. 41130746), the National Natural Fund Project of China (No. 41472046), and the Department of Sichuan Province Natural Science Foundation of China (14JC0126).
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest in this study.
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