Spent pot liner from aluminum industry: genotoxic and mutagenic action on human leukocytes

  • Larissa Fonseca Andrade-VieiraEmail author
  • Marcus Vinícius Cardoso Trento
  • Pedro Henrique Souza César
  • Silvana Marcussi
Global toxicity assessment: chemicals, environmental samples, and analytical methods


Spent pot liner (SPL) is a toxic solid waste generated in the aluminum mining and processing industry. SPL is considered as an environmental pollution agent when is dumped on environment. Thus, it is important to access its toxicological risk for the exposed organisms. The comet assay and micronucleus test are efficient tests to detect genotoxic/mutagenic compounds by DNA damage observation. Therefore, in the present study, the genotoxic potential of SPL was evaluated through the micronucleus and comet assay on human leukocytes. After ethics committee approval (COEP—UFLA n°. CAAE 11355312.8.0000.5060), blood aliquots collected from healthy volunteers were exposed to increasing concentrations of SPL (from 0.1 to 80 g L−1). All SPL treatments, including the lowest concentration applied (0.1 g L−1), significantly increased the micronucleus frequency. The frequency of DNA damage was determined by visual scores (from 0 to 4) and the results were expressed on percentage of damage and arbitrary units (AU). CaCl2 (0.01 M) was applied as negative control (NC) and doxorubicin (10 μg mL−1) as positive control (PC). It was observed a dose-dependency between SPL treatments: as SPL concentration for cell incubation increases, the frequency of damage on DNA also increases. Cells incubated on the NC presented nucleoids class 0 to 2, while those exposed to SPL presents nucleoids class 0 to 4. SPL-incubated cells increasing significantly the frequency of nucleoids class 4. For the PC, the UA of damage was 267.74, which is lower than the one observed for the treatments with high doses of SPL (40–287.40 g L−1 and 80–315.30 g L−1). Thus, it was demonstrated that the SPL is a genotoxic agent that induces DNA damage on exposed organisms.


Human leukocytes Comet assay Arbitrary units Genotoxic agent 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq—grant no. 483933/2012-0), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Nível Superior (CAPES), and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentFederal University of Lavras – UFLALavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Chemistry Department, Biochemistry LaboratoryFederal University of Lavras – UFLALavrasBrazil

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