Landfill Leachate from an Urban Solid Waste Storage System Produces Genotoxicity and Cytotoxicity in Pre-Adolescent and Young Adults Rats

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Oct 20;18(21):11029. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111029.


Landfill leachate is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic molecules, as well as environmental pollutants that can cause harm to ecosystems and living beings. The micronucleus test in peripheral blood erythrocytes was used to evaluate the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of exposure to a landfill leachate from an outdoor solid waste storage system on Wistar strain rats at different developmental stages, pre-adolescents and young adults, and the heavy metal content of the leachate was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Contents of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead in the landfill leachate were outside the allowable international standards, and the exposure to the landfill leachate caused genotoxic and cytotoxic effects on Wistar rats, where the pre-adolescent animals were more susceptible to the toxics contained in the landfill leachate than young adults. Heavy metals contained in landfill leachate, individually or synergically with other molecules can be responsible for clastogenic and cytotoxic effects that can be harmful to humans and ecosystems.

Keywords: cytotoxicity; genotoxicity; leachate; urban solid waste storage system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage
  • Ecosystem
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Refuse Disposal*
  • Solid Waste / analysis
  • Waste Disposal Facilities
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / toxicity


  • Solid Waste
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical