A biomonitoring study of genotoxic risk to workers of transformers and distribution line stations

Int J Environ Health Res. 2009 Dec;19(6):421-30. doi: 10.1080/09603120903079356.


A cytogenetic monitoring study was carried out on a group of workers from transformer and distribution line stations in the Bursa province of Turkey, to investigate the genotoxic risk of occupational exposure to extremely low frequency electric (ELF) and magnetic fields (EMF). Cytogenetic analysis, namely chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and micronucleus (MN) tests were performed on a strictly selected group of 55 workers and compared to 17 controls. CA and MN frequencies in electrical workers appeared significantly higher than in controls (p < 0.001, 0.05, respectively). The frequency of CA in exposed groups were significantly enhanced with the years of exposure (p < 0.01). The effect of smoking on the level of CA and MN was not significant in the control and exposure groups. The results of this study demonstrated that a significant induction of cytogenetic damage in peripheral lymphocytes of workers engaged to occupational exposure to ELMF in electric transformer and distribution stations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Electricity / adverse effects*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Risk
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Turkey