CHAPTER 30: Pesticide Exposure and Its Effects on Micronucleus Frequency
Published:18 Jul 2019
Millions of people are exposed to pesticides in occupational and environmental settings in different parts of the world. The assessment of the genotoxicity of pesticides is critical for better regulation and protections because of their known harmful effects on human health ranging from cancer to adverse birth outcomes. The micronucleus (MS) assay in human lymphocytes and exfoliated cells is an effective method of assessing DNA damage induced by clastogenic and aneuploidogenic mechanisms. The majority of available studies of the MN assay in human lymphocytes of pesticide-exposed workers, including chemical plant workers, pesticide sprayers, floriculturists, agricultural workers and non-occupationally exposed groups reported positive findings. Subjects working in greenhouses or during intensive spraying season and having acute exposure, showed consistent increases in MN frequency. A decreased level of pesticide-induced genotoxicity was associated with proper use of personal protection. Buccal cell MN assay also demonstrated good potential for the monitoring of effects of pesticide exposure in humans, but further standardization of the study protocols and staining procedures will allow more reliable comparison of the data among human populations and laboratories. Overall, the MN assay is a cost effective and reliable tool for the biomonitoring of pesticide-induced DNA damage, and can validate the effects of educational and intervention programs aimed at reducing exposure and genetic damage.