Sister chromatid exchanges and DNA repair capability in sanitary workers exposed to ethylene oxide: evaluation of the dose-effect relationship.

F. Sarto, E. Clonfero, G. B. Bartolucci, C. Franceschi, M. Chiricolo, A. G. Levis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Determination of ethylene oxide (EtO) in the working environment and induction of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) and unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in peripheral lymphocytes of 10 exposed sanitary workers and 10 control subjects matched for sex, age, and smoking habits are reported. The relationship between the external dose of EtO and the frequency of SCE was determined in the above group and in a group of 41 sanitary workers previously studied. The 10 newly examined workers were exposed to EtO concentrations (1.84 ppm as time-weighted average) intermediate between the high (10.7 ppm) and low (0.35 ppm) levels of exposure of the two previously examined groups (19 and 22 workers, respectively). A statistically significant (p less than 0.002) increase of SCE frequency was observed between the present control and exposed groups. The inducibility of unscheduled DNA synthesis by gamma rays was lower in the lymphocytes of the exposed workers than in controls, but the difference was not statistically significant. A significant relationship between the frequency of SCE and the level of EtO exposure for the three exposed groups was demonstrated by two different statistical methods. It is suggested that the present Italian threshold limit value for EtO (3 ppm) may not protect the exposed workers against possible genotoxic effects and that even a chronic exposure to 1 ppm may not be devoid of genotoxic risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-637
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume12
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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