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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Monitoring of occupational exposure to epichlorohydrin by genetic effects and hemoglobin adducts.

The present work is focused on the determination of in vivo doses and studies of genetic effects in workers exposed to epichlorohydrin (ECH). The studied endpoints were hemoglobin (Hb) adducts, frequencies of hprt mutants, micronuclei in cytochalasin B blocked binucleated lymphocytes, sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) and high frequency cells (HFC). Blood samples were collected from office clerks and ECH exposed factory workers at an industrial plant in Germany. The workers were exposed to 0.11-0.23 ppm ECH in the air 45 h per week and to 0.2-2.6 ppm for 3 h per week. Some Swedish non-exposed subjects were also used for Hb adduct measurements. The genetic data, HFC and SCE, showed a significant difference between exposed and unexposed donors. In contrast to earlier studies on SCE, no impact of smoking was observed. Effects on micronuclei were on the borderline of significance, whereas there was no effect for HPRT mutants. The average Hb adduct level was higher in exposed than in non-exposed donors, although the difference was only significant when the exposed group was compared to Swedish controls. Smoking gave significantly increased adduct levels. The absence of significant correlations between individual data for Hb adducts and genetic effects, may be explained by the different periods of time covered by the responses in these endpoints. Whereas Hb adducts reflect the exposure during up to 4 months (i.e. the life span of human erythrocytes), the SCE, and particularly the HFC, seem to accumulate for years in a long-lived fraction of T-lymphocytes without DNA repair. Thus, the adduct data does not reflect the exposure backwards in time unless it can be shown that exposure conditions have remained unchanged. The origin of the background adduct levels in non-smoking control persons is at present not known.[1]


  1. Monitoring of occupational exposure to epichlorohydrin by genetic effects and hemoglobin adducts. Hindsq Landin, H., Grummt, T., Laurent, C., Tates, A. Mutat. Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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