Pan masala--a genotoxic menace

Mutat Res. 1994 Feb;320(3):245-9. doi: 10.1016/0165-1218(94)90051-5.


Cytogenetic markers such as chromosome aberration (CA), sister-chromatid exchange (SCE) and micronucleated cells (MNC) were used to assess the genotoxic potential of dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) extract of pan masala with and without tobacco (PM-T and PM). Using in vitro short-term assays, the extracts were tested in the presence or absence of metabolic activation. In cultures without metabolic activation the extracts were found to increase the frequency of all the three parameters tested significantly, however those with activation elicited a weak response, implying that pan masalas contain solvent (DMSO)-soluble direct-acting mutagen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Areca*
  • Biotransformation
  • CHO Cells
  • Calcium Compounds / toxicity*
  • Catechin / toxicity*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Cricetinae
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Oxides / toxicity*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange
  • Spices / toxicity*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / toxicity*


  • Calcium Compounds
  • Mutagens
  • Oxides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Catechin
  • lime