Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity effects of water boiled in aluminum vessels on Allium cepa root tip cells

  • Zahra ZendehboodiEmail author
Short Report


Cookwares made from aluminum (Al) are supposed to be a potential source of Al contamination of food. In this study, the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity effects of water boiled in aluminum cookwares on the dividing cells of onion root tip were examined using Allium cepa assay. Three used aluminum cookwares from different sources were selected. Distilled water was gently boiled in each pot and then used for growing onions. The cells of root tip were analyzed for mitotic and phase indexes as well as aberrations appeared in the interphase and mitotic phase. One way analysis of variance and post-hoc Tukey HSD test were applied for comparison between experimental groups. The results showed that the mitotic index in one of the treated groups increased significantly compared to the control. Also the frequency of prophase in two of treated groups increased significantly compared to that of the control. There was a borderline significant increase in the frequency average of total aberrations from three treated groups compared to that of the control (p value = 0.063). Also, a significant increase was observed in the frequency average of disturbed mitosis from three treated groups compared to that of the control (p value = 0.04). The findings of this preliminary study supported a possible health hazard of aluminum cookwares. Further investigation with larger sample and food with various compositions is needed to reach a full conclusion about the health effect of aluminum cookwares.


Allium cepa assay Aluminum cookware Mitotic index Chromosome aberration 



The author would like to thank Dr. Maryam Ansari-Lari for her critical reading of the manuscript and valuable contribution in the data analysis. This study was supported by Shiraz University.

Authors’ contributions

Zahra Zendehboodi was responsible for study concept and design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting and revising the manuscript and approving the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interests are declared by the author.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, College of SciencesShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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