Sister chromatid exchange induction in peripheral blood lymphocytes of traffic police workers

Mutat Res. 1997 Nov 27;394(1-3):37-44. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(97)00121-6.


Traffic police workers, as a population exposed to urban atmosphere, were compared with a control population exposed to indoor air pollution levels. Sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) as a biomarker of effect were measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes of 54 exposed subjects and 35 controls, and environmental concentration of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) tracer compounds was detected by personal air samplers. The mean exposure level to benzo[a]pyrene in our group of traffic policemen (3.4 mg/m3) was in the range that has been estimated in urban areas in Europe during the last 10 years. No difference in SCE levels was found between exposed workers (7.36, SD 1.35) and controls (7.47, SD 1.28). No correlation was observed between SCE/cell and airborne PAH concentration in the traffic worker population. A positive regression of SCE on exposure estimate was found only in the non-smoking group of police workers. Our findings suggest that exposure to urban air pollution does not induce relevant cytogenetic effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Police*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / analysis
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Biomarkers
  • Polycyclic Compounds