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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2006, Article ID 97896, 12 pages
Research Article

Determination of DNA Damage in Floriculturists Exposed to Mixtures of Pesticides

1Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Mexico
2Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Mexico
3Laboratorio de Genética, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), Prolongación de Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n,Santo Tomás, CP, Mexico, DF 11340, Mexico

Received 5 April 2005; Revised 18 October 2005; Accepted 19 October 2005

Copyright © 2006 J. Castillo-Cadena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the study was to determine possible DNA damage in floriculturists chronically exposed to pesticides. Leukocytes from 52 workers, 46 environmentally exposed, and 38 control individuals were evaluated with the comet assay. Serum from all individuals was also analyzed for pesticides using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. A statistically significant difference in DNA fragmentation in the pesticide exposed group compared to the other two groups (P <.001) was found. No differences between environmentally exposed and control individuals were detected. The statistical analysis showed no significant correlation between DNA damage and sex, age, drinking or smoking habits, as well as years of exposure. One or more pesticides were detected in 50% of the floriculturists, while in the rest of the individuals, a chemical related with the preparation of pesticides, such as additives, plasticizers, or solvents, was found. Our study shows that chronic exposure to pesticides produces DNA damage in floriculturists. It also suggests that this type of monitoring could be valuable in recommending preventive measures.