Biomonitoring of exposure to urban air pollutants: analysis of sister chromatid exchanges and DNA lesions in peripheral lymphocytes of traffic policemen.

A. Carere, C. Andreoli, R. Galati, P. Leopardi, F. Marcon, M. V. Rosati, S. Rossi, F. Tomei, A. Verdina, A. Zijno, R. Crebelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In order to elucidate the health effects of occupational exposure to traffic fumes, a few biomarkers of early genetic effect were investigated in Rome traffic policemen. One hundred and ninety healthy subjects engaged in traffic control (133 subjects) or in office work (57 subjects) participated the study. For all subjects, detailed information on smoking habits and other potential confounders were recorded by questionnaires. Average exposure of the study groups to benzene and other aromatic hydrocarbons was evaluated in a parallel exposure survey. All workers were genotyped for the following metabolic polymorphisms: CYP1A1 (m1, m2, and m4 variants), CYP2E1 (PstI and RsaI), NQO1 (Hinf1), GSTM1 and GSTT1 (null variants). In this paper, the results of the analysis of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) in peripheral lymphocytes, and DNA damage by alkaline (pH 13) comet assay in mononuclear blood cells are reported. No statistically significant difference in the frequency of SCE or high frequency cells (HFC) was observed between traffic wardens and office workers (controls), despite the significantly higher exposure to benzene of the former (average group exposure 9.5 versus 3.8microg/m(3), 7h TWA). Conversely, both SCE per cell and HFC were highly significantly (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 25 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Molecular Biology

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