Clean-up workers exposed to crude oil exhibit significant levels of DNA damage. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Genotoxicity associated to exposure to Prestige oil during autopsies and cleaning of oil-contaminated birds.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Oct;44(10):1714-23. Epub 2006 May 26. PMID: 16814914
Toxicology Unit, University of A Coruña, Edificio de Servicios Centrales de Investigación, Campus de Elviña s/n, 15071 A Coruña, Spain. email@example.com
After the accident involving the oil tanker Prestige in November 2002 near 63,000 tons of heavy oil reached Galician coast (Northwest of Spain). This unleashed a large movement of volunteers to collaborate in several cleaning tasks. The aim of this study was to determine whether handling of Prestige oil-contaminated birds during autopsies and cleaning may have resulted in genotoxic damage. We have also evaluated the possible influence of DNA repair genetic polymorphisms (XRCC1 codons 194 and 399, XRCC3 codon 241 and APE1 codon 148) on susceptibility to the genotoxic effects evaluated. Exposure levels were analysed by determining volatile organic compounds in air samples. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 34 exposed and 35 controls, and comet assay and micronucleus (MN) test were carried out. Genotyping was performed following PCR-RFLP procedures. Results obtained have shown significantly higher DNA damage, but not cytogenetic damage, in exposed individuals than in controls, related to time of exposure. Among exposed individuals, carriers of the variant alleles XRCC1 399Gln and APE1 148Glu have shown altered DNA damage with regard to wild-type homozygotes, suggesting exposure-genotype interactions. No effect of the DNA repair genetic polymorphisms analysed was observed in the MN test.