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Cytogenetic findings on shoe workers exposed long-term to benzene.

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
Publication Date
  • Research Article


Cytogenetic analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes was performed to detect cytogenetical alterations in 58 shoe workers (57 male and 1 female) who had been exposed to particular mutagenic or carcinogenic agents and in 20 subjects selected from the general population as a control group. Frequencies of damaged cells, including gaps, breaks, and rearrangements (acentric fragment, deletion, translocations) were scored for both groups. The incidence of chromosomal aberrations (particularly chromatid gaps and breaks) in the study group was significantly higher than in the control group. No effects of smoking were observed and breaks alone were found to be influenced by alcohol consumption. No significant correlation was detected between the working period in the group exposed to benzene and frequency of chromosomal aberrations. Benzene content was determined to be between 0 and 28.5% in eight kinds of glues studied by fractional distillation. Hexane content ranged between 0 and 68.35% using the same method. This study indicated that the content of benzene and hexane in the glues are above normal limits.

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