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Genetics and Molecular Biology

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


MALUF, Sharbel Weidner  and  ERDTMANN, Bernardo. Evaluation of occupational genotoxic risk in a Brazilian hospital. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2000, vol.23, n.2, pp.485-488. ISSN 1678-4685.

Many therapeutic, diagnostic and prophylactic procedures used in hospitals are of potential genetic risk. An evaluation was made of genotoxic occupational risk in 42 workers from the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, who had been occupationally exposed to lead (solder), ethylene oxide (sterilization area), antineoplastic drugs (nurses and pharmacists) or ionizing radiation. They were compared with 42 unexposed individuals. There was an increase in the frequency of binucleated cytochalasin-blocked lymphocytes with micronuclei, though it was not significant (P = 0.058). The groups exposed to antineoplastic drugs and radiation had a significant increase in micronuclei frequency (P = 0.038 and P = 0.022, respectively). The high frequencies of dicentric bridges suggest the action of clastogenics in these two groups. These results suggest that the safety procedures adopted were very important to protect workers from exposure to mutagenic agents and should be improved in the radiological and chemotherapeutical areas.

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