Sister chromatid exchanges in peripheral lymphocytes of workers exposed to benzene, trichloroethylene, or tetrachloroethylene, with reference to smoking habits

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1990;62(2):171-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00383594.


The frequencies of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) were studied in peripheral lymphocytes from four groups of solvent workers, i.e. 36 nonsmoking women exposed to benzene at about 50 ppm on the average, 38 men and women (male smokers and nonsmokers, and female nonsmokers) exposed to trichloroethylene (TRI) at 7 ppm, 27 men and women (both smokers and non-smokers) with tetrachloroethylene (TETRA) exposure, and 19 workers (both smokers and nonsmokers in men, and nonsmokers in women) exposed to a mixture of TRI (at 8 ppm) and TETRA (at 17 ppm) (TRI + TETRA). The results were compared with the findings in control subjects matched by age, sex, smoking habits and place of residence. No significant increase in SCE frequencies was observed in association with exposure to benzene, TRI, TETRA or TRI + TETRA. The SCE frequency was, however, significantly higher in the TRI-, TETRA- or TRI + TETRA-exposed smoking men than in the concurrent nonsmoking controls of the same sex. Possible synergism between solvent exposure and smoking is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Benzene / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Mutagenicity Tests*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange / drug effects*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Tetrachloroethylene / adverse effects*
  • Trichloroethylene / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Benzene
  • Tetrachloroethylene