Elevated blood lead levels and cytogenetic markers in buccal epithelial cells of painters in India
- 1.2k Downloads
Background, aim, and scope
Lead, a major contaminant, is highly used in paint manufacturing due to its anticorrosive properties. Recent reports indicated high lead content among Indian paints used for commercial purposes. Painters are continuously exposed to these lead containing paints during painting of both commercial as well as residential buildings. Lead is well-known for its genotoxicty in occupational workers; however, in Indian painters the genotoxic effects of lead have not been reported to date. Therefore we aimed to study the genotoxic end points in painters due to their long-term exposure to these high lead-containing Indian paints.
Materials and methods
Study group selection was made after a questionnaire administration, which included questions about lifestyle and medical history to exclude exposure to the other potential sources of genotoxics. Blood and buccal cell samples were obtained from 30 male painters and from a similar number of age-matched controls of same location with no occupational exposure to lead. Blood lead levels (Pb-B) were measured in painters and controls. Micronucleus (MN) frequencies and nuclear changes, i.e., karyorrhexis, karyolysis, broken egg, and binucleated, were investigated in buccal epithelial cells.
Painters had significantly (P < 0.01) greater lead levels in blood than the control group. MN frequencies and nuclear changes in buccal epithelial cells were also significantly (P < 0.01) elevated in painters as compared with control subjects. Regression analysis also revealed significant (P < 0.01) association of Pb-B with all the genotoxic endpoints in painters. Cytogenetic damage was significantly associated with Pb-B as no other co-founding factors (smoking, alcohols) showed significant difference between both groups.
Lead is widely used in paints which may serve as potential source of exposure among painters due to their long-term engagement with paints. Our results clearly demonstrated genotoxicity among the exposed population as evident from increase micronucleus frequencies, frequent nuclear changes, and apoptosis. Many studies had previously related nuclear change events in buccal epithelial cells with the progression of different carcinomas. Furthermore in-depth investigations with larger sample size are needed to provide evidence to this effect.
Here, we report cytogenetic toxicity to the exposed population by the high lead containing paints from India for the first time. Frequent, high and unregulated use of lead in paints may cause genetic mutation and may accelerate cytogenetic damage which may further lead to different carcinomas in painters. These findings need to be considered and necessary steps should be taken to protect the occupational workers engaged with these high lead-containing paints.
The use of lead in paints is completely unregulated in India and routine surveillance of paints for lead content is still lacking. These paints are readily available in markets and are also used in other products (jewelry, miniblinds) which could be exported to other countries including United States and Europe. Serious consideration should be given to the inclusion of regulations and bans on the use of lead in paints. Moreover, attention should also be paid towards the use of various protective measures (face-masks, hand gloves, and separate clothes) by the workers as safe work practices during working periods.
KeywordsKaryorrhexis Karyolysis Lead toxicity Nuclear changes Micronucleus Paints Painters
We would like to thank the study subjects for their cooperation, understanding, and support which made this study possible. We would also like to thank Dr. Farzana Mahdi (Director Academics) Era’s Lucknow Medical College and Hospital for her careful reading of the manuscript and Mr. M.P.S. Negi (Biometry and Statistics Division) for his help in the statistical analysis.
- Alphen MV (1999) Lead in paints and water in India. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment; 8–10 Feb 1999; Bangalore, India. Bangalore: The George Foundation, pp 265–72Google Scholar
- Bhagwat RV, Patil AJ, Patil JA, Sontakke AV (2008) Occupational lead exposure and liver functions in battery manufacture workers around Kolhapur (Maharashtra). Al Ameen J Med Sci 1:2–9Google Scholar
- Bouchardy C, Schuler G, Minder C (2002) Cancer risk by occupation and socioeconomic group among men—a study by the Association of Swiss Cancer Registries. Scand J Work Environ Health 28:1–88Google Scholar
- Cerqueira EMM, Gomes-Filho IS, Trindade S, Lopes MA, Passos JS, Machado-Santelli GM (2004) Genetic damage in exfoliated cells from oral mucosa of individuals exposed to X-rays during panoramic dental radiographies. Mutat Res 562:111–117Google Scholar
- Chen Q (1992) Lead concentrations in urine correlated with cytogenetic damages in workers exposed to lead. Chung Hua Yu fang I Hsueh Tsa Chih 26:334–335, in ChineseGoogle Scholar
- Costa CA, Trivelato GC, Pinto AM, Bechara EJH (1997) Correlation between plasma 5-aminolevulinic acid concentrations and indicators of oxidative stress in lead-exposed workers. Clin Chem 43(7):1196–1202Google Scholar
- Dunkel VC, Zeiger E, Brusick D, McCoy E, McGregor D, Mortelmans K, Rosenkranz HS, Simmon VF (1984) Reproducibility of microbial mutagenicity assays: I. Tests with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli using a standardized protocol. Environ Mol Mutagen 6:1–254Google Scholar
- Forni A, Sciame A, Bertazzi PA, Alessio L (1980) Chromosome and biochemical studies in women occupationally exposed to lead. Arch Environ Health 35:139–145Google Scholar
- Fracasso MA, Perbellini L, Solda S, Talamini G, Franceschetti P (2002) Lead induced DNA strand breaks in lymphocytes of exposed workers: role of reactive oxygen species and protein kinase C. Mutat Res 515:159–169Google Scholar
- Fuchs J, Hengstler JG, Hummrich F, Oesch F (1996) Transient increase in DNA strand breaks in car refinishing spray painters. Scand J Work Environ Health 22:438–443Google Scholar
- Hiraku Y, Kawanishi S (1996) Mechanism of oxidative DNA damage induced by aminolevulinic acid in the presence of copper ion. Cancer Res 56:1786–1793Google Scholar
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (2006) IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Vol 87 inorganic and organic lead compound (World Health Organization Press), GenevaGoogle Scholar
- Junqueira LC, Carneiro J, Kelley RO (1998) Basic histology. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange. 51:347Google Scholar
- Minozzo R, Deimling LI, Gigante LP, Santos-Mello R (2004) Micronuclei in peripheral blood lymphocytes of workers exposed to lead. Mutat Res 565:53–60Google Scholar
- Palus J, Rydzynski K, Dziubaltowska E, Wyszynska K (2003) Genotoxic effects of occupational exposure to lead and cadmium. Mutat Res 540:19–28Google Scholar
- Patil JA, Bhagwat RV, Patil JA, Dongre NN, Ambekar GJ, Das KK (2006) Biochemical aspects of lead exposure in silver jewelry workers in western Maharashtra (India). J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol 17:213–229Google Scholar
- Patil JA, Bhagwat RV, Patil AJ, Dongre NN, Ambekar GJ, Das KK (2007a) Biochemical aspects of lead exposure and toxicity in spray painters of Western Maharashtra (India). J Environ Health Res 6:101–110Google Scholar
- Patil JA, Bhagwat RV, Patil AJ, Dongre NN, Ambekar GJ, Jailkhani R, Das KK (2007b) Effect of lead (Pb) exposure on the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase in Battery Manufacturing Workers (BMW) of Western Maharashtra (India) with Reference to Heme biosynthesis. Int J Environ Res Pub Health 3:329–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pelelova D, Pickova J, Patzelova V (1997) Chromosomal aberration, hormone levels and oxidative phenotype (P450 2D6) in low occupational lead exposure. Cent Eur J Environ Med 3:314–322Google Scholar
- Pinto D, Ceballos JM, Garcia G, Guzman P, Del Razo LM, Vera E, Gomez H, Garcia A, Gonsebatt ME (2000) Increased cytogenetic damage in outdoor painters. Mutat Res 467:105–111Google Scholar
- Potula VV, Hu H (1996) Occupational and lifestyle determinants of blood lead levels among men in Madras, India. Occup Environ Health 2:1–4Google Scholar
- Schüz J, Kaletsch U, Meinert R, Kaatsch P, Michaelis J (2000) Risk of childhood leukemia and parental self-reported occupational exposure to chemicals, dusts, and fumes: results from pooled analyses of German population-based case-control studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 9:835–838Google Scholar
- Shu XO, Stewart P, Wen WQ (1999) Parental occupational exposure to hydrocarbons and risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia in offspring. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 8:783–791Google Scholar
- Tolbert PE, Shy CM, Allen JW (1992) Micronuclei and other nuclear abnormalities in buccal smears: methods and development. Mutat Res 271:69–77Google Scholar
- Torres-Bugarin O, Anda-Casillas A, Ramrez-Mun˜oz MP, Sa´nches-Corona J, Cantu´ JM, Zu´n˜iga G (1998) Determination of diesel genotoxicity in fire breathers by micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities in buccal mucosa. Mutat Res 413:277–281Google Scholar
- US ATSDR (2007) Toxicological profile for lead (Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Public Health Service)Google Scholar
- US NTP (2003). Report on carcinogens background document for lead and lead compounds (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program (NTP)Google Scholar
- Winder C, Bonin T (1993) The genotoxicity of lead. Mutat Res 285:117–124Google Scholar