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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


CARBONARI, Karina et al. Increased micronucleated cell frequency related to exposure to radiation emitted by computer cathode ray tube video display monitors . Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2005, vol.28, n.3, pp.469-474. ISSN 1415-4757.

It is well recognized that electromagnetic fields can affect the biological functions of living organisms at both cellular and molecular level. The potential damaging effects of electromagnetic fields and very low frequency and extremely low frequency radiation emitted by computer cathode ray tube video display monitors (VDMs) has become a concern within the scientific community. We studied the effects of occupational exposure to VDMs in 10 males and 10 females occupationally exposed to VDMs and 20 unexposed control subjects matched for age and sex. Genetic damage was assessed by examining the frequency of micronuclei in exfoliated buccal cells and the frequency of other nuclear abnormalities such as binucleated and broken egg cells. Although there were no differences regarding binucleated cells between exposed and control individuals our analysis revealed a significantly higher frequency of micronuclei (p < 0.001) and broken egg cells (p < 0.05) in individuals exposed to VDMs as compared to unexposed. We also found that the differences between individuals exposed to VDMs were significantly related to the sex of the individuals and that there was an increase in skin, central nervous system and ocular disease in the exposed individuals. These preliminary results indicate that microcomputer workers exposed to VDMs are at risk of significant cytogenetic damage and should periodically undergo biological monitoring.

Keywords : micronucleus test; mutagenicity; electromagnetic fields.

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