A cytogenetic study of men environmentally and occupationally exposed to airborne pollutants

Mutat Res. 1992 Oct;280(4):253-9. doi: 10.1016/0165-1218(92)90055-5.


The level of sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE), high-frequency cells (HFC), chromosomal aberrations (CA) as well as the proliferation rate index (PRI) were measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes from three groups of volunteers. The environmentally exposed donors were residents from the vicinity of a coke factory; the occupationally exposed persons were cokery workers, while rural region inhabitants served as a control group. Compared with the control group, statistically significant increases of SCE and HFC, as well as decreased cell kinetics (PRI) were observed for both occupationally and environmentally exposed groups. The effect was especially pronounced when only smokers were taken into account. A statistically significant increase of CA was observed in the environmentally exposed group when CA including gaps (CA + G) were evaluated. The proportion of HFC was found to be the most sensitive method to detect genetic effects on the tested human population. This study demonstrates the usefulness of all 4 biomarkers (SCE, HFC, CA and PRI) in monitoring populations exposed to ambient pollution and clearly indicates effects from residential as well as occupational exposure to industrial air pollutants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / toxicity*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Coke / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Coke
  • Mutagens