Chromosomal aberrations analysis in a Brazilian population exposed to pesticides

Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 2000;20(5):265-72.


In spite of being harmful, pesticides are widely used in Brazil. Their genotoxic effects might be studied through population monitoring by means of the analysis of chromosomal aberrations in occupationally exposed individuals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the chromosomal aberration frequencies in temporary cultures of lymphocytes from periferic blood of 23 workers professionally exposed to a mixture of pesticides. The workers were employed by the Agronomic Institute of Parana (Brazil) and used all of the prevention measures provided. A detailed history of pesticide use, as well as personal data, smoking habits, and history of recent illnesses and medical treatment were collected through a standardized questionnaire administered to each subject. Nonexposed subjects, matched for age, sex, and smoking habits, served as the negative control. A total of 100 cells were analyzed from each individual. A significant increase in chromosomal aberration frequencies was observed in exposed individuals when compared to the control group. Some individual characteristics such as age, sex, time of exposure to the pesticides, and smoking habits showed no correlation with chromosomal aberrations. Therefore, the positive results may be considered true effects of pesticides on human somatic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agriculture
  • Brazil
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pesticides / toxicity*
  • Reference Values
  • Smoking
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Pesticides