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Mohini B., Mamta N.1, Ravi Shankara B. E., Manasvi V. and Myrene R. D.*


Micronuclei (MN) in buccal cells are widely used as biological markers to estimate the genetic risk of exposure to complex mixtures of toxic chemicals. Many laboratory workers of various courses in educational and research institutes are not formally trained or not adequately educated in the use of safety protocols while handling such chemicals. They work with chemicals without use of hand gloves and safety goggles; and often do not follow safety protocols associated with its usage and disposal. Due to their ignorance and lack of awareness, they are unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in the form of fumes, vapours, liquids or solids. Hence, the micronuclei assay may be used as a potential cytogenetic marker of DNA damage providing an efficient and cost effective way to identify and quantify the exposure to toxic chemical substances. The assay may also be used for risk assessment and in understanding early biological effects of both occupational and environmental exposure to toxic chemicals. In our study we found that there was a significant increase in the frequency of MN in subjects exposed to occupational chemicals than the control group: MN in subjects was found to be 66 (n=50) while only 21 MN were observed in control (n=50). There was a considerable increase of 9 MN observed in alcoholic subjects (n=5) as against 5 MN seen in alcoholic control. Non-alcoholic subject population exhibited an increase of 37 MN over non-alcoholic control. The obtained number of MN in non smokers was 57 (n=50) which was higher than the 19 MN observed in the control (n=50).

Keywords: Cytogenic monitoring, Micronuclei, Smoking, Alcohol consumption.

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