Assessment of DNA damage in ceramic workers

Mutagenesis. 2018 Feb 24;33(1):97-104. doi: 10.1093/mutage/gex016.


It is known that ceramic workers are potentially exposed to complex mixture of chemicals such as silica, inorganic lead, lime, beryllium and aluminum that can be associated with an increased risk of several diseases. All operations in the ceramic industries such as mixing, moulding, casting, shaking out and finishing jobs, have been associated with the higher exposure levels and in most of the silica-related industries, average overall exposure exceeded permissible exposure levels for respirable crystalline silica. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible genotoxic damage in ceramic workers exposed to complex mixture of chemicals mainly crystalline silica. For this purpose, the blood and buccal epithelial cell samples were taken from the ceramic workers (n = 99) and their controls (n = 81). The genotoxicity was assessed by the alkaline comet assay in isolated lymphocytes and whole blood. Micronucleus (MN), binucleated (BN), pyknotic (PYC), condensed chromatin (CC), karyolytic (KYL), karyorrhectic (KHC) and nuclear bud (NBUD) frequencies in buccal epithelial cells and plasma 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) levels were also evaluated. In the study, 38 workers were diagnosed with silicosis, 9 workers were suspected to have silicosis, whereas 52 workers were found to be healthy. DNA damage in blood and lymphocytes; MN, CC + KHC, PYC frequencies in buccal epithelial cells and 8-oxodG levels in plasma were increased in workers compared to their controls. These results showed that occupational chemical mixture exposure in ceramic industry may cause genotoxic damage that can lead to important health problems in the workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Ceramics*
  • Comet Assay* / methods
  • DNA Damage*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Micronucleus Tests* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Radiography
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Silicosis / etiology
  • Silicosis / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult