Sister chromatid exchange induced by chromium compounds in human lymphocytes

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1998 Nov;71(8):550-3. doi: 10.1007/s004200050322.


The objective of this study was to study was to compare chromium (Cr), nickel-chromium (Ni-Cr), and control groups for sister chromatid exchange (SCE) in lymphocytes to obtain an understanding of the mutagenic effect of Cr(VI) in humans. Subjects totaled 91 persons from the 3 groups, including 14 Cr and 34 Ni-Cr electroplating workers and 43 control group members. Results showed that blood and urine Cr concentrations were highest among Cr workers (11.39 microg/l, 14.7 microg/g creatinine), next highest among Ni-Cr workers (5.28 microg/l, 6.2 microg/g creatinine), and lowest among the control group (2.36 microg/l, NA). After adjustment for smoking habits, SCE/cell values were 10.6, 9.4, and 8.3 for Cr workers, Ni-Cr workers, and controls, respectively. A synergetic effect was shown on HFC (high-frequency cells) percentages for Cr workers who also smoked. Odds ratios were 31.78 and 3.66 that Cr and Ni-Cr workers would have higher HFC percentages than the control group, respectively. The authors conclude that SCE in lymphocytes is useful for evaluation of the biological effects of environmental mutagens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromium Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Chromium Compounds / blood
  • Chromium Compounds / urine
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Electroplating
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / metabolism
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange / drug effects*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Taiwan / epidemiology


  • Chromium Compounds