Assessment of DNA damage in floriculturists in southern Brazil
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The aim of this study was to assess possible genotoxic effects on floriculturists in a region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil, using the micronucleus test (MN) and comet assay. Thirty-seven floriculturists and 37 individuals not exposed to pesticides participated in the study. The micronucleus test was performed with epithelial cells of the oral mucosa. In the microscopic analysis, 2000 cells were evaluated per subject, verifying the frequency of MN and the frequency of other nuclear abnormalities (nuclear buds, binucleated cells, and karyorrhexis). For the comet assay in the peripheral blood lymphocytes, 100 cells were classified in five classes, according to the migration of DNA fragments, thereby generating the frequency of damaged cells and the damage index. There was no difference between the exposed and control groups in the frequencies of MN and other nuclear abnormalities in the epithelial cells of the oral mucosa. However, the comet assay showed that both the frequency of DNA damaged cells and the damage index were significantly greater in the exposed group. The results therefore indicate that floriculturists are exposed to mixtures of pesticides with genotoxic potential.
KeywordsOccupational exposure Floriculturists Pesticides Micronucleus test Comet assay
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